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JCM Racing Returns to its Roots with Organizational Restructure

The Maynard family’s JCM Racing team will have a new but familiar look when the organization hits the track in 2024 for the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season. JCM Racing will operate as a two-car Top Fuel team with eight-time world champ Tony Schumacher continuing to lead the charge as the pilot of JCM’s flagship entry. The second car will be driven by Ida Zetterström, the 2023 European FIA Top Fuel champion, who recently announced at the Performance Racing Industry show that she was moving to the United States to pursue her dreams of competing for an NHRA world championship as a member of the JCM Racing organization.

Led by crew chiefs Mike Neff and Jon Schaffer, Schumacher will be seeking his ninth series title and a first for JCM Racing when the season kicks off at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida, March 8 – 10. Zetterström, who is in the process of relocating from the Åland Islands of Finland to the Indianapolis area to be near the JCM racing shop, is expected to make her NHRA debut in the late Spring and will be battling for the honors of NHRA’s 2024 Rookie of the Year. The eventual goal is for the FIA Top Fuel E.T. and speed record holder to compete on a full schedule in 2025 as a teammate to Schumacher. Both Schumacher and Zetterström will represent Okuma and Leatherwood Distillery, with additional partners to be announced at a later date.

“We’re excited for the 2024 season,” said Maynard, whose JCM Racing team has already amassed seven national event wins in a little over a year’s time, including the 2022 NHRA Northwest Nationals where Maynard scored his first victory at his debut race as an NHRA team owner. “We’re going into this next year with a streamlined approach, and it feels like we’re returning to our roots. When my wife Cathi and I first started this, we began as associate partners of Leah Pruett’s car because Cathi was impressed with how Leah represented women in what is otherwise considered a predominantly male industry. At the time, Tony Schumacher wasn’t racing, and in addition to supporting Leah, Cathi was adamant about bringing Tony back. Everyone that knew Cathi, knew that Tony was ‘her driver.’ When working through our organizational restructure this off-season, it was important to me that Tony continue to race as a member of JCM in Cathi’s honor, and now, with the recent passing of Don Schumacher, we want to be sure we carry on his legacy as well. Between Tony competing for a championship, and Ida, racing for the Rookie of the Year award, I know we’ll make them proud.”

Adding to the excitement for Maynard is the launch of his son and grandson’s NHRA careers. Maynard’s son, Joe C. Maynard, will make his debut in the Top Alcohol Dragster ranks where he will compete on a full-time basis, including several divisional events which would make him eligible to contend for a championship. The younger Maynard recently licensed in an A/Fuel Dragster following the 2023 NHRA Nevada Nationals in Las Vegas. Tony Schumacher, who signed off on Maynard’s license, was by his side to offer support and guidance. Shelby Maynard, son of Joe C., will also stage his machine in competition for the first time in 2024. The youngest drag racing Maynard will begin his career behind the wheel of a Jr. Dragster, competing in the NHRA’s division two ranks. 

“It’s truly exciting that we’ll have two generations of Maynards on the race track next year,” added Maynard. “We’ve always been clear about our intentions to grow the sport, and part of that is supporting the up-and-coming drivers, whether it’s through our JCM Racing driver development program, campaigning cars in the non-professional ranks, or introducing a new driver to the series, like Ida. I feel like we’re checking all of the boxes next year, and returning to the things that are most important to us. With Joe C. and Shelby representing us in the Sportsman ranks, and Tony and Ida in Top Fuel, I couldn’t think of a better line-up for our JCM Racing organization heading into 2024.”

Before the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Series season gets underway at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida, Schumacher will participate in the PRO Superstar Shootout at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida, Feb. 8 – 10.

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