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?
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.
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?
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
it hard to find new people that fit within
your way of doing things?
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
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
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
Alan's expertise and specifications on equipment
trickle down to the other nitro teams?
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.
Alan interact with the other crew chiefs?
he a leader or is he one of the crew chiefs?
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