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Industry Mourns Passing of Drag Racing Legend Don Schumacher, 79

By SEMA News Editors

Don Schumacher, NHRA team owner and Funny Car pioneer, passed away on December 20 at the age of 79. Schumacher had spent the past several months privately battling lung cancer before succumbing to illness-related complications, according to the NHRA.

Don Schumacher

Don Schumacher, 79

In November 2022, Schumacher was presented with the NHRA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2019, he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in Daytona Beach, Florida, and in May 2013, was enshrined into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Alabama. He was also invited into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2007.

A Funny Car match racer in the 1960s and ‘70s, Schumacher took a departure from motorsports to grow the family business, Schumacher Electric. In 1998, he returned to NHRA Drag Racing to build a team with son Tony Schumacher. Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) made its competition debut at the 1998 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, clinched its first championship title in 1999. His teams have won 19 NHRA world championship titles and 367 Wally trophies, including the five he won while behind the wheel of a Funny Car.

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Image courtesy of DSR Performance