Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 12, Page

When Matco decided to leave, did they tell you? Did they say, we're going somewhere else and we want you to be involved or did they just tell Don they were leaving?

WB: They told Don Friday of Indy and Don told me.

So, Matco didn't come to you first? 

WB: No.

But you did stay on the payroll with Don Schumacher Racing through the end of the original contract even when you weren’t driving?

WB: Correct.

When did your contract with Don Schumacher end?

WB: My deal ended on November 15th of this year.

Let's talk about the Schumacher organization a little bit. Does the organization work as a team with so many different personalities, different cars and teams? Does it actually have a team feeling to it or is it just an organization?

WB: You know, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. Don Schumacher Racing is set up differently than say, Force's operation where Austin Coil is the boss, he's the chief.

They can have Jimmy Prock and John Medlen working on those other two cars, but they still report to Austin Coil. Jimmy Prock could probably go down any road that he wanted to with the tune up and testing or developing some whiz bang part, but he does it all with Coil's blessing, from what I know. Don's teams are a little different because all the crew chiefs report to Don Schumacher, so in a way they are competing against each other. They (the different crew chiefs) work together. There's a lot of collaboration between them, but they still compete to be the most successful guy on the team and the same thing with all the drivers. I mean, Scelzi and I are tight but we were competing against each other and then with Capps all trying to be the best driver in the organization, which is good in a way.

Do drivers in a way compete for Don's attention? If you’re more successful do you get more support from the Don?

WB: Don doesn't have much patience for a guy that isn't doing his job properly, but so as long as you are doing a good job, performing near the top, doing as well as everyone else then you're good with him.

Tell me something about Don Schumacher that people don’t know.

WB: Don Schumacher has a persona when he’s on TV but that isn’t the same one he has when I've done with business with him. It seems he genuinely tries to accommodate everybody. 

What's he really like to work for as an employee of DSR? 

WB: I can only relate my own experiences of working for him. I was there for six years, almost six years. He's a tough guy, he's demanding and tough and he should be. The first year, I had to take a pretty big cut in pay, but I wanted to go there and so I did, that was my decision.  He's a very tough, hard-nosed businessman and he's successful in that regard, but he was always fair. He paid me what I wanted at the end.  There were times when I know I made him very frustrated. One thing that bothered him was my driving at times. You can't drive a fuel Funny Car perfectly all the time, you just can't. So, the times that you don't, he's not real happy, but on the other hand, after the last race I drove for him he said some really nice things to me at Pomona. I left feeling the door at Schumacher’s is open for me .I feel that we have a good relationship.

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