Maynard Family Racing
READING, PA – After a regular season filled with struggles, eight-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher kick-started his Countdown to the Championship campaign with a get-healthy weekend at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. His Reading, Pa. outing included a consistent qualifying effort and successful race day that saw Schumacher and the SCAG Power Equipment dragster move on to the rain-delayed semifinals on Monday morning.
Schumacher ran into tire smoke early in his first qualifying attempt on Friday, but he came back in the second session and laid down a smooth 3.737 E.T. at 328.54 MPH to sit eighth going into Saturday. His 3.755-second pass was the third-quickest run of the third session on Saturday, earning one bonus point. The five-time Reading winner rounded out qualifying with a 3.749-second effort in the final session, settling into the No. 9 position for Sunday eliminations. It was one of Schumacher’s best overall qualifying performances of the season.
In the first pair of Top Fuel eliminations after the national anthem on Sunday morning, Schumacher lined up with No. 8 qualifier Austin Prock. Schumacher was first off the starting line by a few thousandths of a second and led the whole way, winning with a 3.701 E.T. to Prock’s 3.716 E.T. Schumacher then faced fellow JCM Racing driver and points leader Justin Ashley in the second round. Schumacher moved first again, and it was enough of a holeshot advantage to beat Ashley’s quicker 3.707-second pass with a 3.716 E.T.
Indianapolis, IN – Despite making steady progress all weekend, Tony Schumacher found himself on the bad side of a good drag race on Monday morning at the NHRA U.S. Nationals, the final event of NHRA’s regular season. Aboard the SCAG Power Equipment Top Fuel dragster, Schumacher secured a spot in the 16-car field by clocking three solid runs during qualifying with his best run, a 3.784 E.T. at 326.79 MPH, slotting him in the No. 12 seed out of 19 cars vying to get into the show.
The 10-time U.S. Nationals event champion drew No. 5 qualifier Mike Salinas as his first-round opponent on race day. Schumacher moved first to claim the holeshot advantage but his opponent had pulled ahead by the time they reached the 330-foot marker. The SCAG machine started creeping up on Salinas and had him almost reeled in by the time they approached the 1,000-foot beams, but Salinas powered across the finish line first to score the narrow victory, which saw Schumacher come up short by just five-thousandths of a second.
A two-time winner in three final round appearances in 2023, Wilkerson begins the weekend occupying the No. 7 position in the Funny Car rankings, and with points-and-a-half up for grabs, is looking to close out the weekend inside the top five.
Tim Powered to his first final round appearance at the 1997 Indy event but was defeated by Whit Bazemore.
Wilkerson was awarded his first No. 1 qualifier at Indy during the 1998 race.
Tim explains his feeling about Indy, “Really looking forward to having a good weekend at Indy. This weekend’s points-and-a-half format means a lot to us. We’re seventh currently and with the points pretty tight like they are in the middle, we have an opportunity to make a pretty big move to get us ready for the Countdown. If we have a really good weekend, we could move up to fourth or fifth. So, we’ll go out there and do the best we can but I have a really good track record at Indy and I’m looking forward to continuing that surge. In addition to competing for the big trophy on Monday, we qualified for the Pep Boys Callout and that should be a good time; its so great for the fans. I can’t wait to get back to Indy and get this weekend started.”
Indianapolis, IN – With an unprecedented 10 U.S. Nationals victories, Schumacher is the winningest Camping World Series driver in Indianapolis history . He made hde his Top Alcohol Funny Car debut at the 1995 event and advanced to the final round in 1996 during his Top Fuel debut season.
Team minority owner Don Schumacher captured his first NHRA win during the 1970 U.S. Nationals race.
“I love Indy. It’s where I got my start racing in Top Fuel. I’ve had so much success there and nothing would be better than to have a good get-healthy weekend at a facility that’s been so good to me over the years. Our SCAG Top Fuel team is coming off of a beautiful test session where the car performed like it should. The crew is full of confidence, I’m full of confidence, and we feel good. It’s going to be a great weekend and we’re ready to put on a great show.” expressed Tony.
Jr. Drag Racers Are Encouraged to Apply Online to Join JCM Racing’s Driver Development Program
BROWNSBURG, IN – Earlier this year, the JCM Racing team announced the addition of a driver development program, aimed at helping young drag racers interested in pursuing a career in NHRA’s professional ranks. The program launched with three rising NHRA upstarts on its roster, lending support to Waylon Bennett, the 2022 Division 2 Jr. Dragster champion, Kayleigh Hill, who made her Super Comp debut on the Division 5 circuit this season, and Wyatt Wagner, a two-time JEGS All-Star who is currently competing for his third Division 5 Super Stock title.
Now, as the 2023 NHRA Camping World Series season approaches the final stretch, JCM Racing is pleased to announce it is opening up the driver development program to new applicants for the 2024 season. The program will be open to Jr. Drag Racers who already have an established Jr. Dragster operation in place and plan to compete on a regular basis in 2024. Potential candidates must also possess a minimum 3.0 GPA and have established social media accounts. Applications will be accepted September 3 – 9 via online submission. The 2024 class will be announced at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis in December.
While there is a financial aspect involved, Joe C. Maynard, who oversees the program, believes the true value lies in the access the developmental drivers have to the JCM Racing team and its resources.
Brainerd, MN – With two wins in three final-round appearances so far in 2023, driver-tuner Tim Wilkerson was looking to break through for his first Brainerd International Raceway victory on Sunday during the NHRA Brainerd Nationals. Aboard the SCAG Power Equipment/Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang, Wilkerson earned five bonus points during qualifying by powering to the quickest run of the third session, and second-quickest run in the fourth and final qualifying round. While ‘Wilk’ was strong on Saturday, a loss of traction in Friday night’s ‘field setting’ Q2 round caused him to miss out on a top-seeded starting position, and he started race day from the No. 9 spot.
Wilkerson carried the momentum from Saturday’s qualifying laps into Sunday’s elimination rounds, ripping off a stout 3.883-second at 331.69 MPH pass to defeat Alexis DeJoria’s 3.906 E.T. His run was the quickest of the round and allowed him the advantage of lane choice over reigning Funny Car world champion, Ron Capps. The veteran drivers lined up side-by-side ready to dual for a spot in the semifinals. Wilkerson moved first but his hopes of a first Brainerd triumph went up in smoke as his machine lost traction as soon as he stood on the throttle while Capps made a clean pass in the opposite lane to advance.
“Nice runs all weekend until E2,” said Wilkerson. “I’m very upset about my performance in E2 there but we’re running an all-new clutch program here for the Countdown, and this was part of learning that. I hope it keeps reacting the way it had been prior to the second round because it’s really acting good. But, we’ll go to Indy and the plan is, to keep running as good as we have been.”
Brainerd, MN – Three-time Brainerd winner Tony Schumacher made a trio of clean, consistent qualifying passes at the NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, providing a boost of confidence going into race day. Schumacher’s SCAG Power Equipment Top Fuel dragster ran into a bout of tire smoke in the opening round, though, leading to an early end to Sunday competition for the eight-time NHRA world champion.
Schumacher opened qualifying with a 3.828-second pass at 322.34 MPH on Friday afternoon. He improved to a 3.804 E.T. at 327.90 MPH on Saturday, then followed that up with a consistent 3.819 E.T. at 326.08 to end up No. 10 on the final qualifying order.
While the SCAG Power Equipment dragster was one of the most consistent cars in qualifying, crew chiefs Mike ‘Zippy’ Neff and Jon ‘LJ’ Schaffer went into eliminations looking to step up. Unfortunately, Schumacher drove into tire smoke early in the run and couldn’t recover in time to catch Leah Pruett in their first-round match.
Wilkerson and the SCAG Power Equipment/Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Head to the Lucas Oil Nationals
BRAINERD, MN – Tim sits seventh in the Funny Car rankings, and with just two races remaining before playoff starting positions are set, will be looking to the Brainerd event to move up in the standings.
The team will be working hard to position themselves for a strong charge at the championship over the next two races.
Wilkerson talks about Brainerd, “Every race is different and every track is different, so hopefully we can go to Brainerd and keep our momentum up of our car running well, but we’re going to have to work on our driver a little bit (said jokingly). I’m a little pissed at him after last weekend with Hagan’s good light, so we’ll see how that works out this weekend. Only two races left before the Countdown fields are set, and our SCAG/LRS team is focused on finishing the regular season strong.”
NHRA Brainerd Nationals Event Highlights: 2003 event runner-up, 2004 No. 1 qualifier
Schumacher leads the Top Fuel class in No. 1 qualifiers (six) at Brainerd International Raceway.
“I love Brainerd, and I’m looking forward to getting there for several reasons. We’re coming off of a No. 4 qualifier from Topeka last weekend, the best we’ve qualified so far this year. Yes we lost in the first round, but weather conditions just jacked with us all weekend long last weekend, and we still performed good. Our SCAG dragster is running right, and I tend to do well at Brainerd. Last year, we were runner-up there, and hopefully we can repeat with another visit to the final round this weekend.” explained Tony
NHRA Brainerd Nationals Event Highlights: Three-time event champion (2000, 2004, 2008), Four-time runner-up (2003, 2006, 2011, 2022), Six-time No. 1 qualifier (2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012)
TOPEKA, KS – Tricky conditions tested Tim Wilkerson and the SCAG Power Equipment/Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car at the Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor, but a string of three-second passes showed serious potential for the Funny Car veteran. Racing at the final NHRA national event at Heartland Motorsports Park, Wilkerson bowed out in a side-by-side race with Matt Hagan in the second round of eliminations.
The Maynard Wilkerson Racing driver was consistent through three qualifying sessions, beginning with a pass that put him in the top 8 on Friday. He made the third-quickest pass of the second session on Saturday, and again in the final session to earn a pair of bonus points. Wilkerson’s 3.991 E.T. at 320.74 MPH in the final session gave him the No. 6 spot going into Sunday eliminations.
Persistent rain showers on Sunday morning delayed the start of eliminations to late afternoon. Patience paid off for Wilkerson, who laid down his quickest pass of the weekend, a 3.987 E.T. at 318.77 MPH, to win the round over Terry Haddock. Wilkerson’s second-round appearance was almost over before it began, as he had trouble getting into reverse after the burnout. His team helped him get back to the starting line, and while he recorded a consistent 3.988-second pass at 322.88 MPH, it wasn’t quick enough to get around Matt Hagan and his 3.987 E.T.