Jeff Weiding leads team at Schumacher RacingPosted: Updated:
SEATTLE (March 28, 2011)- The long awaited anticipation on who will be U-37 Schumacher Racing's crew chief has ended Monday. Hydroplane team owners Jane and Billy Schumacher announced that Jeff Weiding is their new crew chief --in charge of a group of maintenance specialists that make up the crew.
Weiding, a Lynnwood, Wash. resident has been promoted from within the ranks of Schumacher Racing and has been with the team for five years. He replaced Scott Raney who left and began his own team.
Weiding began as a crew member before he had seen his first H1 Hydroplane race. "I was working in a hot rod shop working on car restorations. Bill Wurster's U-8 LLumar crashed at San Diego in 2005 so my friend Dick Lynch brought me down to the boat shop to help as a volunteer," Weiding said. He did such great work repairing the hydro, Weiding was offered a full-time job.
Asked how he feels about being crew chief Weiding said, "I'm not thinking about it right now," He added, "My thoughts right now are focused fully toward building on our success, and keeping the crew on-task so we are ready with our new boat at the Governor's Cup in Indiana."
For a 24-year-old kid born and raised just outside Seattle, the chance to be crew chief of an H1 Unlimited hydroplane team --an area icon and one of the more predominant teams in hydro racing--is an opportunity of a lifetime.
"It's an honor to be racing for such competitive team like Schumacher Racing. With the upgrade of our new state-of-the-art boat, upgraded motors, depth in propellers and our new driver J. Michael Kelly will translate to an improved and winning performance."
World Champion driver J. Michael Kelly said, "I have had the opportunity to have some of the best crew chiefs but having someone young will be great. I think we will be able to work and grow together for a long time."
He continued, "I am excited to have a crew chief that is roughly my age, at least closer to my age than my fathers." Kelly continued, "Finally, we have some music on in the boat shop we can all agree on."
Weiding is the youngest crew chief ever in the H1 Unlimited Series, several decades younger than his peers. He is accustomed to being called "young." As a 15-year-old, he began racing a Sprint Car but was kicked off the track because he was too young. He didn't even have a motor vehicle license.
A year later he was back legally and the nickname of "Crazy J." He raced and setup Sprint Cars for four years.
Billy Schumacher said, "It is a pleasure to have Jeff leading our crew. He is an intelligent young man that we know has our best interests in mind when making his decisions." He added, "We need more young people like him in our sport, youth is the future of our team and the H1 Unlimited Series."
SCHUMACHER RACING: Formed in 2006 by two-time Gold Cup trophy winner and three-time National Champion driver, Billy Schumacher and his wife Jane after they purchased the race team assets of Bill Wurster's U-8 Racing. Based in the Seattle neighborhood of Magnolia, the team has four victories. Three in 2006 with Jean Theoret driving, including the Gold Cup Trophy and World Championship Trophy. The teams forth victory came back in 2008, again with Theoret driving. Schumacher Racing's past drivers include: Jean Theoret (2006-2009), J.W. Myers (2009-2010), and Jon Zimmerman (2010).
2011 H1 UNLIMITED SERIES SCHEDULE:
July 1-3, Lucas Oil Indiana Governor's Cup, Madison, Ind.
July 8-10, Detroit Yacht Club / A.P.B.A. Gold Cup Trophy, Detroit, Mich.
July 29-31, Lamb Weston Columbia Cup, Kennewick, Wash.
Aug 5-7, Albert Lee Cup at Seafair, Seattle, Wash.
Sept. 16-18, Air National Guard Championship presented by Degree Men at Bayfair, San Diego, Calif.
Dec 1-3, Oryx Cup/UIM World Championship Race, Doha, Qatar.
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