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JCM Racing Pre-Race Report: Bristol

NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Event 8 of 20

Bristol Dragway

Bristol, Tenn.

June 7-9, 2024


Noteworthy:

  • Joe C. Maynard, driver of the JCM Racing/Leatherwood Distillery A/Fuel Dragster, will be honored as Fire Department Coffee’s ‘Community Hero of the Race’ on Saturday during Q3. Before becoming involved in NHRA Drag Racing with his family in 2021, Maynard, son of JCM Racing team owner Joe E. Maynard, served as a member of the U.S. Army for 20 years.


TONY SCHUMACHER

Driver of the Michael Waltrip Brewing Co./Leatherwood Distillery Top Fuel Dragster


NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Event Highlights:

  • Six-time event winner (2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2018)  

  • Two-time runner-up (2001, 2016)  

  • Four-time No. 1 qualifier (2004, 2007, 2008, 2015)


2023 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Event Recap:

Qualified 10th; Quarterfinal finish (defeated Dan Mercier in E1; defeated by Antron Brown in E2)


Last Event (Epping):

Qualified No. 14; Event runner-up (defeated Brittany Force in E1, Josh Hart in E2, Clay Millican in E3; defeated by Doug Kalitta in E4)


2024 Statistics:

Seven races; two runner-up finishes, one Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge win


Career Statistics:

562 races; 86 wins, 88 No. 1 qualifiers


Noteworthy:

  • Returns to 'Thunder Valley' fresh off a runner-up finish from last week’s NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, N.H.

  • By powering to the final round in Epping, the JCM Racing team secured a spot in the Bristol running of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge. Schumacher already has one Mission Foods specialty race win in 2024 (Phoenix)

  • Schumacher was inducted into Bristol Dragway’s ‘Legends of Thunder Valley,’ the track’s official hall of fame, in 2023, joining his late father, Don Schumacher, who was honored in 2014

  • Six of Schumacher’s 86 national event triumphs were won at the Thunder Valley Nationals, making him the winningest Top Fuel driver in the facility’s history

  • Schumacher will run a co-branded Michael Waltrip Brewing Co./Leatherwood Distillery paint scheme this weekend. Schumacher, JCM Racing team owner Joe Maynard, and Michael Waltrip Brewing Co. CEO Bryan Sperber will unveil Schumacher’s new look on Thursday evening at the MWB Bristol taproom. In addition to this weekend’s event, Schumacher will also drive the MWB/Leatherwood car at the Charlotte 2 race in September

  • It was announced in April that Maynard recently became an equity owner in Michael Waltrip Brewing Co., the premium brewing company founded by NASCAR legend Michael Waltrip

  • Leatherwood Distillery has launched a new sales promotion in which fifty cents of every bottle sold is donated to A Soldier’s Child with an additional fifty cent contribution going toward a separate veteran-supporting organization, with a total of one dollar per bottle sold beneftting veteran causes. This promotion runs through Veteran’s Day


Fan Events:

  • Thursday, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Michael Waltrip Brewing Co./Leatherwood Distillery car unveil event at Michael Waltrip Brewing Co.’s Bristol taproom (221 Moore St., Bristol, Va.)

  • The event will feature food and drink specials, music, autographs with Schumacher and his JCM Racing teammate Ida Zetterström, and a live taping of NHRA’s Insider Show with Brian Lohnes and Tony Pedregon. This event is free and open to the public

  • Saturday, 10:30 – 11:00 a.m., Mission Foods Challenge autograph session at the Mission Foods midway display

  • Saturday, post-Q4, Bristol Dragway Fanfest in Nitro Alley


Quotables:

Tony Schumacher:

“We made a lot of runs there (during the Epping elimination reschedule) last year, even though it didn’t count for the Bristol race, and we ran well. Obviously, when people ask me about my top three or four tracks, Bristol always comes to mind. The facility is incredible, the fans are amazing, and I’ve had a lot of success there. Just always love going to Bristol. Since day one, it’s been one of the coolest tracks on tour.


“We’re coming off of that runner-up finish (from Epping). We didn’t win, but we ran well on Sunday and it feels good to get right back into the car this weekend so soon after a final round. We’re getting more and more runs under our belt and gathering the data we need. We’re looking for a strong weekend, and I can’t wait to show off our new Michael Waltrip Brewing Co./Leatherwood Distillery livery. This is one of the coolest looking cars that I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m excited to be able to represent a rock star and NASCAR legend like Michael.”


Michael Waltrip:

“I can’t think of anything any better. The Michael Waltrip Brewing Company colors on eight-time NHRA champion Tony Schumacher‘s dragster. Wow, our beers are going fast! Cannot wait to hear the roars in Thunder Valley this weekend.”


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