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Tony Schumacher Talks Patience, Western Swing On ‘The Wes Buck Show’

Tony Schumacher, the most decorated Top Fuel driver in the sport’s history, opened up about his 2023 season so far, the importance of patience, and his love for the Western Swing on a recent episode of “The Wes Buck Show.”

Schumacher, an eight-time world champion and 86-time event winner, is currently part of the JCM Racing team, driving the SCAG Power Equipment Top Fuel dragster. With a career spanning 543 races, Schumacher’s record is a testament to his skill, dedication and resilience. As a matter of fact, Schumacher is one of the elite seven Camping World NHRA Drag Racing Series competitors who can boast of having “swept the swing” when he won the trio of Denver, Sonoma and Seattle events in 2008.

In his candid conversation with Wes Buck, Schumacher emphasized the importance of patience in building a successful team, touching on reuniting with former 2018 crew chief Mike “Zippy” Neff for the 2023 season. 

“The funniest thing is with the 86 wins you have sitting on the shelf, we have hundreds of losses,” Schumacher said. “We grow up as little kids wanting to race cars, then we put a team together, and we put a better team together, we get better parts, and we just inch our way up.”

Schumacher’s words resonate with the spirit of drag racing, a sport that demands not just speed but also strategy, teamwork, and perseverance. His perspective reminds all racers, regardless of class, to enjoy the sport’s journey and thrill.

“So many people are trying to get here, they forget this is fun, and this is what we all wanted to do,” Schumacher added. “I know that at the end of the day, we’re going to win a championship. I know that we’re going to win races.”

Schumacher also shared his excitement about returning to Bandimere Speedway, a track that poses unique challenges due to its altitude and conditions. “I love the difficulty of it. I’m one of the few people to have swept the swing, and that was a huge accomplishment that I’ll always be really proud of,” he said. “Can’t wait to get back there for one last go-round. I’m going to go in early and fish, stay behind on the back end and fish, and hopefully, I’ll be going onto our next race carrying a Wally.”

This story was originally published on July 14, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.