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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Drag Racing Stock Car Racing Topics:  Tony Schumacher, Stewart-Haas Racing


U.S. Army Racing
November 13, 2009

FORT KNOX, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2009) - The U.S. Army Accessions Command announced today that the U.S. Army will continue its sponsorship of Tony Schumacher's Top Fuel Dragster in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and will return as a primary sponsor of Ryan Newman and the No. 39 Chevrolet Impala SS for 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2010.

"Tony Schumacher and Ryan Newman are not only outstanding drivers, they are also powerful and effective advocates for the great men and women of our Army," said Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, Commanding General U.S. Army Accessions Command. "Both drivers possess and demonstrate a passion for our Army Strong Soldiers and their families. They and their teams share our Army values and demonstrate the mental, emotional and physical strength which are the hallmark of our Soldiers. We are very excited about the opportunities our participation in the National Hot Rod Association and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series present us to tell our Soldiers' stories and connect with Americans across the country."

The 2010 season will mark the Army's 10th with Don Schumacher Racing and the NHRA since its return to the sport in September 2000. Tony Schumacher has won five consecutive championships while piloting the 22-foot U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster. He enters the weekend as the points leader for the 2009 championship. Should Schumacher capture the crown, it will be the Army's 10th including four won in the mid-1970s as the sponsor of Don Prudhomme's Funny Car.

"I am extremely proud and humbled to represent the U.S. Army and the brave men and women who make it possible for us and our families to live in freedom," Schumacher commented. "My team and I are motivated by the dedication, sacrifice, and service of our Soldiers and their families. It is also an honor to team up with Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart to help tell young Americans about the wonderful opportunities the Army offers."

The U.S. Army will serve as the primary sponsor on Schumacher's top fuel dragster for all 23 NHRA national events and as an associate sponsor on all Don Schumacher Racing cars. In addition, the Army will return as the Official Military Partner of the NHRA and presenting sponsor of the NHRA Youth and Education Services Program (Y.E.S.)

In the U.S. Army's inaugural year with Stewart-Haas Racing, Newman and the No. 39 team were able to deliver two poles and a berth in the coveted Chase for the Championship thanks to 15 top-10 finishes and a staggering lap completion rate of 99.76 percent. Off the track, Newman and co-owner Tony Stewart have experienced Soldier greening at different Army posts, including Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Knox, Ky., Fort Jackson, S.C., and Fort Benning, Ga. They also visited Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and met with the Golden Knights parachute team. It's a partnership that extends the U.S. Army's role as a primary sponsor since it first entered the sport in 2003.

"It's an honor driving the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet and representing the men and women who serve and protect our country," Newman said. "And much like them, we're never satisfied. We want to achieve more, and the dedication, teamwork and passion of the Soldiers who defend our country is all the inspiration we need to deliver on the racetrack. There is no group of people more dedicated to service and committed to excellence than the men and women of our armed forces."

In addition to serving as the primary sponsor for 15 races, including the Coca-Cola 600 Memorial Day weekend event at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, the U.S. Army will serve as an associate sponsor on the No. 39 car for the remaining races.

The U.S. Army will also serve as an associate sponsor on Tony Stewart's No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet, with yearlong placement on the car's B-post.

"We're obviously very proud to continue our representation of the U.S. Army," said Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing along with Oxnard, Calif.-based Haas Automation - the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. "We accomplished a lot in our first year together, but we want more. It's our never-ending goal to put the Soldiers' car in victory lane, and we appreciate the opportunity to do just that in 2010."

The U.S. Army Motorsports Program began in September 2000 when Congress directed the Secretary of the Army to conduct a five-year motorsports outreach test. In 2003, building upon the success of the NHRA program, NASCAR was added. In addition to sponsorship of Newman and Schumacher, the programs also include an educational outreach to high school, vo-tech and junior college students focusing on career planning, goal setting, and career opportunities in motorsports and the Army. In addition, on-site interactive displays allow prospects and their influencers to experience what it is like to be a Soldier and to interact with Soldiers.

See More NHRA Top Fuel News

The presence of any information identifying private companies or other non-federal entities does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.

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