Matt Hagan’s victory here at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in last weekend’s E3 Spark Plugs Nationals pushed Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) within two of reaching the 350-victory plateau.
The Brownsburg, Ind.-headquartered megateam anticipated achieving the milestone in March at Gainesville, Fla., but the season was suspended before the pro racers ever could hit the track. DSR has the chance again this weekend.
Mark Pawuk or Leah Pruett could help DSR – already drag racing’s most successful team – earn its 350th or even its 351st triumph, if one of them wins in the Factory Stock Showdown class’ season debut. The team also is fielding four Top Fuel cars and four Funny Cars – one-fourth of each nitro-powered class. So it has the opportunity to put three drivers in the winners circle (that officially isn’t staging because of limited crowds).
Competing in Top Fuel are Antron Brown, Cory McClenathan, Leah Pruett, and Tony Schumacher. Points leader and Winternationals winner Jack Beckman, Phoenix victor Tommy Johnson Jr., Indianapolis winner Hagan, and Ron Capps are 1-2-3 and 6 (respectively) in the Funny Car standings.
A lot of circumstances would have to align perfectly for a multiple-victory day for DSR. But it has happened before. The organization has “tripled” twice so far, at Reading in 2004 (Tony Schumacher, Gary Scelzi, Angelle Sampey) and at the fall Las Vegas race in 2006 (Schumacher, Beckman, Richie Stevens).
Counting his own five victories in the early 1970s as a driver, Don Schumacher has assembled a team that has captured 161 Top Fuel wins, 162 in Funny Car, 18 in Pro Stock Motorcycle, and three each in Pro Stock and Factory Stock Showdown. Tony Schumacher is the in-house leader with 84 Wally trophies, and Capps follows with 50. Brown has 43 of his total of 50 with DSR. Hagan and Beckman have 34 and 31 victories, respectively.
When DSR does hit the 350-victory mark, it will be the first in drag-racing history to do so. By comparison, Team Penske Racing has 556, World of Outlaws legend Steve Kinser has recorded 690 feature victories, and Ferrari has 238 Formula 1 triumphs. Chip Ganassi Racing is zooming up on 230 victories on the strength of winning the first four IndyCar races of this year.
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