The racing world has lost another legend—Don Schumacher has passed away from complications after his battle with lung cancer.
Don Schumacher gained fame piloting dragsters in the 1960s and soon the Schumacher name was practically synonymous with the nascent Funny Car class. As a racer, Don Schumacher won five NHRA national events, nine IHRA events, and was the 1973 AHRA Funny Car World Champion.
Once out of the cockpit, Schumacher was able to transition his talents to team ownership. Together with his son, eight-time NHRA Top Fuel Champ Tony Schumacher, the elder Schumacher became one of the most accomplished team owners in NHRA history. He is a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Racing achievements aside, Don Schumacher was an influential proponent of drag racing safety, helping to introduce the rooftop escape hatch for Funny Car bodies along with innovations in fire suppression system tech.
Don Schumacher passed away on December 20, 2023 at age 79.