Tuesday, February 27, 2024

DragChamp Racer Spotlight with Zach Schlumpf

Dialed-In Podcast co-host Zach Schlumpf is in the spotlight with DragChamp.

When Zach Schlumpf of Evansvile, IN started racing 26 years ago in a Jr. Dragster, little did he know where the sport would take him.

DragChamp Logo

Now a successful big money bracket racer and co-host on a popular drag racing podcast called Dialed-In with Jake and Zach, he passion is remains focused on the sport he loves.

Like most of us, Zach was introduced to the sport by his Dad, Billy. All these years later, Billy still provides assistance at the track and in the shop. Zach also relies on the help of his wife, Kristin in order to keep pace in the fast world of bracket racing.

Zach winners circle

Learn more about Zach, his car, and his story in the following Q&A.

How long have you been racing?

I started racing in Jr dragsters when I was 10.  My Dad, Billy Schlumpf, built my first car himself in our shop at home.  I’m 36 now so that was 26 years ago.  Jr. dragsters were just getting going when I started. I never imagined it would get to where it is now. 

How did you get introduced to the sport?

My Dad has been racing for over 50 years so he is the one that introduced me to the sport.  I was born in New Jersey and we used to go to a lot of NHRA National events when I was a little kid and my Dad would run his Vega Wagon in Super Gas. 

Our family moved back to Indiana when I was 8 and shortly after is when I was introduced to bracket racing at Greater Evansville Raceway in Chandler, IN.

Which class or classes do you compete in?  Where do you normally race?

I run Super Pro or Top, as some call it. I race about anywhere reasonably close that is paying the most money.  The focus of the racing program now is to win big money races as often as possible. 

If I do race a local race now, which is few and far between, I usually go to I-57 dragstrip in Benton, IL or Beech Bend in Bowling Green, KY. 

Tell us about your current race car.

I drive a 1965 Chevy II with a 383 small block engine built by my Dad and I.  Its been reworked from front to back over the years and I’ve been racing this car for 20 years now. 

Zach and Billy Schlumpf

Please list your major racing accomplishments.

  • Chandler Motorsports Park Super Pro Track Champion 2005 and 2009
  • Jegs Summer Door Car Race Shootout Main Event Winner 2015, 2019
  • Dragsters for Sale.com Practice Tree race Main event Winner 2019
  • Montgomery Super 7s Series 10 K winner 2019
  • Jegs US Open Main Event Runner Up 2011

What’s on your bucket list, future goals, what do you hope to achieve?

Right now my goal is to win a couple more big money races this year and go into 2020 ready to run for the biggest purses our sport has ever seen!  If I had to pick one race to win I’d like to say I won, it would be the Million Dollar Race at Montgomery. Just because of the long standing tradition of that race and what it means to have your name put with the group of guys that have won it. 

What is your favorite race car, and why?

I am very partial to my car.  We have been through a lot and I have poured my blood sweat and tears into it over the years.  It would be very hard to ever let go of.

Tell us what you do for a living?

I work an office job as a call center manager for a very small family owned company of awesome people.

How do you support your racing, side hustle, sponsor, partner, etc.?

Just by my wife Kristin and I working and getting help from sponsors when I can.  I also am co-host of the podcast Dialed In with Jake and Zach with my good buddy Jake Hodge

We talk about what’s going on in the world of sportsman drag racing each week and it can be found on all major platforms. 

Please like our Facebook page and tell your friends if you like what you hear!

Zach Schlumpf Nova

Who do you hate to see in the other lane, and why?

I can’t say that I really have anyone I hate to race, but I know that Mr. Chris Cadle whipped my behind at the Door Car Shootout on Saturday.  His worst light was .003 in two different cars. He is definitely a bad dude. 

What’s the hardest part of drag racing?

For me its always been taking a hard loss.  I really pour myself in to trying to win every round I’m in and sometimes its hard not to get upset or angry when I lose a big round. 

As I’ve gotten older it has gotten easier to keep perspective that there will be another race the next day,  next week, or next season and I will have my chance then to show what I am capable of.

What’s your most embarrassing moment in a race car?

When I was 16 it was within the first month of me driving the car and I did a burnout and forgot to turn on the fuel pump and threw a rocker arm off.  

What are you saying to yourself just before you stage the car?

I try to concentrate on my breathing and make sure I blink a lot so I don’t get caught with dry eye or end of blinking as the light comes on.  I usually say to myself to just pretend you are on the practice tree and let go. 

Schlumpf Nova

What do you enjoy the most at the racetrack?

The people are the thing I enjoy the most.  Being in the drag racing family is something that most people will never understand. 

I love talking to my buddies in the lanes and I also enjoy meeting new racers, talking to them, and learning about them. 

I really enjoy seeing when racers in competition against each other work together to find parts and fix a competitor’s car.

Are you superstitious?  If so, what are they?

I would say I am a slight bit superstitious.  I feel like for the most part you make your own luck, but in this game we play, thousandths of a second mean the difference between winning and losing.

I feel like a little luck can’t hurt.  Sometimes if I win wearing a certain shirt, I’ll make sure I wear it again at the racetrack. 

I have also walked around my car before going to the staging lanes just to try to shake up my opponents a little bit. 

Zach Schlumpf

Do you love to win or hate to lose?

Both but if I have to pick one, I love to win!  Celebrating a win is such a sweet part to this sport.  It may not come around too often, so you always make the best of it!

Which are you better at the starting line or the finish line?

I feel like my strength is on the starting line.  I am a student of the finish line and try to learn by watching what the great finish line drivers do and paying attention to what my opponents try to do against me.

What motivates you to continue racing?

Its in my blood.  I couldn’t imagine not racing.  I always want to be hunting that next win and trying to improve my driving and my car. 

Its such a difficult thing with so many nuances and the competition is so tough that you can literally never stop learning and improving. 

If money were no object, what would your racing operation look like?  Car, trailer, class, race schedule, etc.

I always said if money wasn’t an object that I would have one of those two-rotor military cargo helicopters as my hauler!   That would make a statement! 

Seriously, I would of course like to have a nice new toterhome and a stacker all painted red, black, and white with a dragster, a ’57 Chevy body roadster, and my trusty Chevy II. 

I’d love to travel the big money bracket race trail all over the country. 

How often do you use a practice tree?

Daily.  I usually practice a few times a day, but I try to spread my hits out so its more like race day.  I also like practicing with my wife Kristin who is good at making me look bad on the practice tree.

Zach Schlumpf jr dragster

What is your daily driver?

Not very impressive……  an ’08 Ford Edge with 235,000 miles on it.

Favorite movie or TV show?

Favorite movie: Dazed and Confused       TV Show: South Park

Favorite music, artist?

Rock/Alternative Rock band Incubus. I’ve seen them in concert six times and we are going to see them in concert in November.

Where do you spend the most time on the internet?

Facebook, working on the podcast, and dragchamp.com of course!! 

What is your favorite sport?  Favorite team?

College Basketball   UNC Tar Heels

Zach Schlumpf Wheelstand

Besides racing, what do you do in your free time?

My wife Kristin and I have four boys between the two of us, so we keep pretty busy taking care of them.  I enjoy going out to eat with my wife and just hanging out with her.  I enjoy watching all kinds of sports and racing on TV as well and always love to watch a good movie.

What are you really good at?

Not giving up.

Name one thing most people don’t know about you?

Probably that I am an Eagle Scout.  It is one of my greatest achievements and it serves me in my life daily.

Would you rather hang out with a crowd or have a quiet evening at home?

10 years ago it would have been a different answer, but now I would rather have a quiet evening at home.  I do enjoy going to places and being in a crowd every now and then.

Zach Schlumpf Chevy II

What’s your favorite thing to eat? 

Porter House Steak cooked medium rare by myself on my grill 

Who would you like to thank, who helps you the most?

My wife Kristin is truly my teammate.  She supports me 100%!  I truly believe that her support has been what has propelled me to have my best year money wise this year that I’ve ever had.  I believe that is because it’s not I, it’s we.  We race as a team, we win as a team, and we lose as a team.

My Dad, Billy Schlumpf for all the help in the shop.  He has spent countless hours working on my car to make sure I always had something that I could compete in.  

My sponsors that I truly would not be here without are:

Siebert Performance that handles my carburetor needs and can do anything else that you may need done on your racing engine. 

This Is Bracket Racing Elite that has helped me improve my driving skills exponentially over the last couple of years. 

Firecracker Performance Transmissions and racesponsorships.net

For more great bracket racing stories, drag race results, and news, click here.

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