DRO: Other teams have trouble finding sponsorship out there, yet you seem to keep growing with the potential of adding teams. You seem to have an affinity with the corporate world out there. What's the edge that you have?

Schumacher: I think you'd have to ask them that. I don't know what makes it possible for me to go out and accomplish the things that I have accomplished with corporate America. I work real hard at it. I really believed all of my life (that) the harder you work the luckier you get. I'm not afraid to put in hours and energy. I'm fortunate to have a family that allows me to put in excessive hours into my business ventures. I just think it's hard work.

DRO: You have a lot of different personalities now in your employ driving different vehicles and a lot of different crew chiefs who need to work together. Is it hard to balance all of those people? Is that a full time management job for you, as well?

Schumacher: Definitely so. It's a cast of characters as I put it. Each one has a real unique personality, and that goes for the driver versus the crew chief. It is a task to deal with each one of them on a personal basis, and accomplish what our ultimate goal is -- and that's to go out and win races and hopefully a world championship.

DRO: Is it hard to find new people that fit within your way of doing things?

Schumacher: No, I really find people that we're able to fit in with, that I'm able to fit in with. You're not going to change a crew chief. You're not going to change a driver. You really need to find a way to have that personality and that person's efforts work inside of your organization. This is a people business, and at times you run into a situation where that person won't work internally with the group that you already have. That's always a concern, but I really haven't run into it out here. Everybody out here in NHRA drag racing are professionals, and you're really in a family out here. A lot of times you'll fight with your siblings, but ultimately you're going to make up and go down the same path. So, it can be trying at times-but not too bad.

Lee Beard (left) and Alan Johnson

DRO: You seem to have the unique relationship with Alan Johnson. When the car was struggling, and you brought him in, it immediately turned the program around. Are you leasing equipment from him? Are you leasing his clutches? Are you leasing his engines? How does that relationship work?

Schumacher: Alan is a contract person that works for Don Schumacher Racing. I do not lease any components from him, at all. Everything that is utilized on all of my teams is owned by Don Schumacher Racing.

DRO: Does Alan's expertise and specifications on equipment trickle down to the other nitro teams?

Schumacher: Not really. We try different things on all of the teams but the Army dragster is run quite different from either of the two Funny Cars. If I bought another dragster I think we would duplicate what we're doing over there on the Army side. And, if we brought out another Funny Car we would duplicate what we are doing over here with the Matco/Oakley car. All three of those teams have been quite successful out here in the arena this year. But we're constantly trying new and unique parts and pieces and different technology. Alan is a tremendously creative individual that's incredibly capable in coming up with new things and a few different things on these cars. He's able to stand back and look at what's going on, and really come up with a way to solve an issue quicker than most anybody out there.

DRO: Does Alan interact with the other crew chiefs?

Schumacher: Oh yeah.

DRO: Is he a leader or is he one of the crew chiefs?

Schumacher: They're all leaders. Each one of them is a leader on their own vehicle and their own environment and that's part of what causes some personality issues in any company. I mean, Alan is definitely a leader, he is not a follower at all, but Lee Beard is the same way. So is Mike Neff, and so is Dan Olson. So are Bob Glidden and Mark Peiser. All of these individuals are leaders that totally believe in what they're doing and the way that they're doing it and they are totally committed to their methods. Not one of them is going to really copy of follow the other guy.

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