BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Don Schumacher Racing will field a third entry in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel ranks for returning driver Spencer Massey.
The team will be led by crew chiefs Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler. Schumacher originally released Massey from his contract with the team in late November for unspecified reasons.
The dragster that finished the past season ranked third in points with four event titles will carry the banner of Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher, a product owned by DSR team owner Don Schumacher, until a primary sponsor is found for the team.
The status of DSR’s third-ranked team from last year was left in limbo for 2013 when longtime NHRA and DSR sponsor FRAM/Prestone opted last summer to not continue motorsports sponsorships upon the conclusion of the 2012 season.
“I committed last summer to running this team in 2013 after Honeywell sold the FRAM/Prestone business to an investor and the decision of the new owner was to eliminate motorsports sponsorship,” Schumacher said. “I committed to run that car in 2013, and will do what I committed to doing. And I want to keep that team together because it has contended for the championship down to the last two races the past two years”
Schumacher said Schumacher Electric will fully fund the Don Schumacher Racing team while he continues to search for another major sponsor.
“Were we not to field that team it also would have cost about 10 guys their jobs, and I didn’t want that to happen,” said Schumacher, whose teams have won 11 NHRA world championships and 196 NHRA event titles.
Although the team did not join the other six DSR teams at the Florida test sessions last month, Okuhara and Shuler tested the dragster last December and it proved to be in midseason form with a best run of 3.75 seconds at 325 mph.
Massey, 30, will compete in his fourth full-time professional season and third straight with DSR. At the end of the last season, Schumacher and Massey decided in late November to go separate ways at a time when adequate funding had not been secured.