Don Schumacher Racing drivers Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Matt Hagan (Funny Car) took home Wallys from the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries on Sunday at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) and Michael Ray (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also came away from Chicago with victories.
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.
Check out Paula’s Examiner columns on motorsports:
· Motorsports Travel
· Joe Gibbs Racing
· Kyle Busch Motorsports
· Buffalo Motorsports
Follow Paula on:
· Facebook – Paula Thompson Freelance and usedview.com Motorsports
· Twitter – @paulat14
· Website – paulathompsonfreelance.com
· Flickr – Paula Thompson Freelance
Contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org
Schumacher celebrates – Chicago 6/30/13
The engine of Schumacher’s dragster exploded as he crossed the finish line, holding off Clay Millican for the victory; it was Schumacher’s third win of the season and the 72nd overall. Schumacher, a native of the Chicago area, earned early round wins over David Grubnic, Khalid alBalooshi and his DSR teammate Antron Brown on his way to the finals.
“It’s always great to have a hometown win here in Chicago,” said Schumacher. “It was a great day for Don Schumacher Racing with another double-up (Matt Hagan’s Funny Car win). This is 37 times that we’ve done that, and it was personally gratifying with all the family and friends I had here this weekend.”
Matt Hagan – Chicago 6/30/13
Hagan rode wins against DSR teammates Johnny Gray and Jack Beckman, as well as Bob Tasca III into a final-round match-up against John Force, who was racing in his third consecutive final round. It was Hagan’s third win of the season.
“It’s so hard to get these wins, so I feel great to be here,” said Hagan. “I don’t think you could put together a tougher line-up. We’re doing good things right now and we want to keep it up, but I want to stay humble. This is such a humbling sport. Things can change fast, so we’re just gonna keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
Jeg Coughlin Jr. – Chicago 6/30/13
Coughlin Jr. earned his second Wally of the season by beating Greg Anderson in the finals. Coughlin Jr. defeated Rodger Brogdon, Jason Line and teammate Allen Johnson to reach the finals.
“When I let out the clutch, the car didn’t feel the best that it had all day, and by the time I got into second and third gear I was just cracking the whip on the thing as hard as I could,” said Coughlin. “I didn’t know that Greg was struggling next to me, but to see that win light come on in my lane and to have such a huge win here feels amazing. But I think that the big exclamation point is that this was the weekend of the JEGS Allstars, which is a huge, huge deal for the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and all the Sportsman racers. We put a lot of effort into this weekend, and I think that’s been a little bit of the ingredient that has contributed to our success at this track.”
Michael Ray – Chicago 6/30/13
Ray won his second event of 2013, earning early-round wins against John Hall, teammate Scotty Pollacheck and Hector Arana to reach the finals against his former teammate Matt Smith.
“Most people know that I rode for Matt last year and we do have a little bit of a rivalry,” said Ray. “When I moved to Star I think it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve won two races so far and it was especially nice to beat my old crew chief. This was definitely a bit of redemption. After I won in Englishtown we wanted to keep the momentum going. Then we went to Epping and I got beat on a holeshot. I told myself coming in here that I’d either be red or perfect and I was solid on the tree all weekend.”
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series logo
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Norwalk, Ohio’s Summit Motorsports Park for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals next weekend, Thursday through Sunday, July 4th through 7th. Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.