By Briar Starr, NHRA Staff Writer
Announced this past weekend during the Sonoma Nationals, Joe and Cathi Maynard secures majority ownership over Don Schumacher Racing‘s Top Fuel team that began this week.
The Maynard family will oversee the day-to-day business operation of the Top Fuel team which will continue to be driven by Tony Schumacher.
“Cathi and I are more than excited to continue in our favorite sport as the majority owners of the JCM Racing/DSR Top Fuel team,” said Joe Maynard. “It is our strong desire to build a new legacy with Tony at the wheel while maintaining the legacy of Don and DSR through our partnership.
“Throughout 2022 we have watched our young crew grow under Todd Okuhara’s leadership, and now see a true team performing at a highly competitive level with a strong eye towards making the Countdown. We are looking forward to enhancing our relationship with Scag Power Equipment, Okuma, and potentially others to build an even stronger team for 2023 and beyond and, like Don, are looking for opportunities to fill the field at every race.”
Schumacher will continue to operate business as usual by continuing to be the driver of the Top Fuel race team. Schumacher says The Maynard family was one of the reasons why he returned to the sport after a few years away from the sport.
“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the Maynard family this year and look forward to them continuing to become more involved as they take on this expanded role,” said Tony Schumacher from Sonoma Raceway following Sunday’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals elimination rounds. “It’s incredible to see how passionate the Maynards are about our sport. Together, we will continue to represent our roster of JCM and DSR partners such as Scag Power Equipment and Okuma to the best of our abilities both on and off the track as we race for a bid to compete in the 2022 NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.”
Despite the Maynard Family taking over as controlled owners, long-time team owner Don Schumacher says he will continue to be in the sport and is not stepping away anytime soon.
“While things might be a bit different behind the scenes, to our fans and partners, it will appear to be business as usual,” said Don Schumacher, a motorsports Hall-of-Famer who has led DSR to 366 national event wins and 19 series championships.
“We have a lot of opportunities in the works with DSR Performance, and will continue to engineer and supply leading racing parts to the drag racing community in addition to expanding our defense and aerospace contracts. Earlier this season, we announced the launch of an exciting new project, the DSR 1150 crate engine, but I feel that we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of DSR Performance’s capabilities. By being able to let go of the reins of the Top Fuel team a little bit, we’re able to focus our attention on continuing to develop that side of the business.”
“Make no mistake though,” added Schumacher, whose contributions to the sport of drag racing include cutting-edge safety innovations such as the addition of a roof-mounted Funny Car escape hatch, and the Top Fuel canopy, among others. “I love drag racing and while I may be taking a step back from the Top Fuel team at this time, I have no intention of leaving the sport. Full fields are imperative to the health of NHRA, and we will continue to look for opportunities that will allow us to field championship-contending nitro teams, but for now, this move makes sense.”
The Maynard Family/Don Schumacher Racing cooperation will begin this weekend at the NHRA Northwest Nationals, July 29-31.