Eight-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher will not race at this weekend’s NHRA season-opening Lucas Oil Winternationals at Pomona.
The U.S. Army, Schumacher’s long-time sponsor, announced in July that it wouldn’t renew its nearly two-decades-old sponsorship with Don Schumacher Racing and the NHRA due to a reallocation of its marketing budget. Schumacher reiterated that he is still working on sponsorship.
The 49-year-old, who has 84 career wins (good for eighth all-time) and currently holds the NHRA record for most consecutive round-wins (31), insisted he isn’t retiring.
“For all the people asking, I have no plans to retire or take time off,” he said in a post on social media. “I drive a Top Fuel dragster and that is what I will continue to do for as long as I am able to. See y’all soon!”
Don Schumacher Racing will field Leah Pritchett and Antron Brown in Top Fuel, and Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, Matt Hagan and Tommy Johnson Jr. in Funny Car.
“Tony Schumacher will not compete at the season-opener in Pomona,” DSR said in a statement. “DSR is actively seeking sponsorship for the Schumacher-piloted Top Fuel machine and looks forward to campaigning three dragsters during the 2019 season.”