Drag Illustrated Issue 177, July / August 2022 | Page 63

Special Section
giving him the points lead going into the second half of the season .
While Nyerges has undoubtedly done his job in the driver ’ s seat , he gives all the credit for the team ’ s success to Schween , the crew , and the manufacturers who support the Schween Motorsports program .
“ Most of it is because Gary ’ s not scared to spend any money ,” Nyerges says . “ That car is a total money pit . Having the right people in place is also important . We have Brian Tiffe tuning on the car . He also takes the motor apart and puts it back together after every race . My buddy Darrell [ Hartshorn ] goes with us and he helps Carsten out , which is a big help , and he helps out on the Corvette . Then you have Charlie Buck and Brandon Switzer . If we have a question or an issue , it gets fixed ; it gets whatever it needs . It makes it easy for me . When you get in the car , you have confidence . You know it ’ s put together right .”
The Schween Motorsports camp has grown considerably over the last few years . Along with Chris in the Corvette and Carsten in the Firebird , the team also fields a ’ 02 Corvette driven by Maximus Butcher , the son of Top Sportsman
veteran Glenn Butcher . It ’ s a family operation , as Chris ’ s wife , Shari , and Gary ’ s wife , Maren , join the team at the races .
Schween ’ s support for the Top Sportsman classes extends beyond fielding three cars . His medical practice , Drs . Benninger , Schween & Schmidt , is a contingency sponsor for the Top Sportsman and Top Dragster classes .
The practice specializes in highlevel oral and maxillofacial surgery , which is a surgical specialty focusing on reconstructive surgery of the face , facial trauma surgery , the oral cavity , head and neck , mouth , and jaws , as well as facial cosmetic surgery .
Racers don ’ t need to be patients ; they just need to run the contingency decal to be eligible for the $ 200-to-win and $ 100-to-runner-up contingency awards posted by Schween for both Top Sportsman classes .
“ He is all about the PDRA ,” Nyerges says of Schween . “ He wants to run cars that have a points system . We stopped running NHRA because it ’ s
horrible money . Your wins are so few and far between , you at least want to capitalize if you have a chance to win . So we started running PDRA back in 2018 . We ran a few races , then we were full-time from ‘ 19 on . He supports the class and he just supports everything about it .”
Going into the last few races of the season , Nyerges is focused on going rounds – not tallying points – and continuing to mentor Carsten as he progresses as a driver .
“ I think Carsten is on a huge upswing ,” Nyerges says . “ He ’ s getting comfortable in the car and he ’ s starting to do his own thing in there . He ’ s not worried about the other guys , like who he ’ s running . He ’ s doing his own thing . He ’ s come a long way .
“ Me , I just need to quit playing into people ’ s games and start doing my own thing again like I did at the beginning of the season ,” he adds . “ I usually don ’ t let anything bother me . That racer ’ s talking , ‘ Oh , just go green . Better lay off the tree . Better do this , better do that .’ You do it one time , like the last race , then the guy is . 015 on the tree and one off the number and you ’ re done . I ’ m going back to doing my own thing .”
“ But it ’ s fun ,” Nyerges continues . “ We have fun with it . That ’ s the biggest thing . I try not to get caught up in the points because it ’ ll probably eat you alive . I just told Gary , we ’ re down to 12 rounds . There ’ s 12 rounds left . We ’ re going to be fine . After those 12 rounds , we ’ ll see where we sit .”
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