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Don Schumacher treated for cancer

by Bill Cawthon on

Don Schumacher, founder and owner of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), underwent surgery last week to treat Stage 1 squamous cell carcinoma.

The cancer, which generally affects the epithelial cells of the skin, was discovered during an annual check-up last week at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The long-term prognosis is very favorable when the disease is detected early.

“I will beat this,” said Schumacher, who turned 70 in early November. “Finding this early is the key. Thank God, I’ve been coming here to the Mayo Clinic for annual physicals so this could be discovered. I can’t stress to everyone how important it is to get regular physicals and take care of your health.”

Dodge drivers, including current Funny Car World Champion Matt Hagan, former World Champion Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, who was a runner-up to Beckman in 2012, missing the championship by two points, and Tommy Johnson Jr. all race under the DSR banner.

DSR also participated in the development of the new Dodge Charger Funny Car that will race in the 2015 Mello Yello drag racing season, which kicks off in February.

DSR collected two world championships during the 2014 Mello Yello drag racing season: Matt Hagan won in Fuel Funny Car and Don’s son Tony collected the big Wally in Top Fuel.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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