INDIANAPOLIS – It seems like the Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series has been on an upward swing lately. Finding a good partner in Fox Sports for a TV package and having several marketable drivers in the sport has drawn some much needed attention in motorsports’ fastest series.
Unfortunately though, one of their top drivers not just now, but also ever, will have to sit out the season opener this weekend in California.
Tony Schumacher announced via his social media page on Monday that he will not be in his Top Fuel dragster in the Lucas Oil Winternationals at Pomona. The reason is for the lack of funding.
Tony Schumacher will not compete at the season-opener in Pomona. DSR is actively seeking sponsorship for the Schumacher-piloted Top Fuel machine and looks forward to campaigning three dragsters during the 2019 season. pic.twitter.com/FyXdyuaoqq — Don Schumacher Racing (@shoeracing) February 5, 2019
Schumacher’s long time sponsor in the U.S. Army announced last summer that they wouldn’t renew their sponsorship with Don Schumacher Racing and the NHRA in general due to budgets. That left the eight time Top Fuel champion without funding for 2019 and as of February, he still doesn’t have it.
So, despite having the eighth most wins ever (84), the most U.S. Nationals wins ever (10), eight championship trophies and an NHRA record of most consecutive round wins (31), he is without a ride.
Schumacher, 49, did say that he’s actively searching for a sponsor and isn’t retiring.
DSR will still field entries for Leah Pritchett and Antron Brown in Top Fuel and Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, Matt Hagan and Tommy Johnson Jr. in Funny Car.