Long-time drag racing family Otto and Leslie Schulte of Black Creek finished up their season at Mission Raceway Park by clinching the Super Pro championship. What made this extra special was that at the prior weekend of racing they had already clinched the Super Combo championship.
As Otto explained, “From my perspective this is a lifetime achievement. It is unusual for racers to compete in two classes because it becomes very hectic between rounds, and it is rare for anyone to win dual championships in one year.”
Otto and Leslie have been drag racing for almost a quarter century. They currently run a full tube chassis drag car sporting a 1964 Ford Falcon body, named Still Cruisin. It was originally a BC Hydro meter reader, but began its long racing history as soon as Hydro auctioned it off around 1971. It has undergone many transformations, with Tom Stockhausen from Ladysmith building the current chassis in 1991.
The Schultes bought this car 15 years ago. After a few years it received a fiberglass front end, thanks to Dean Peterson, with body work and paint done by Wayne Woodbeck, both of Courtenay. Originally run with a 460 cid engine, Otto upgraded to a 514 cubic inch engine four years ago to be able to compete in the NHRA Super Street 10.90 index class. Thanks to Bill Leong of Performance Products in Courtenay and Jim Mantle of TMM transmissions, the car has the combinations it needs to run consistently weekend after gruelling weekend.
Four years ago the Schultes began racing in the Lordco-sponsored Super Combo series at Mission, which includes the three index classes: Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street. They also decided to double up by racing the NHRA ET series Super Pro class. In the second year they placed second in Super Combo and third in Super Pro, demonstrating how strong a contender they were. Then last year they won the Super Combo championship.
But 2011 was a steamroller year. The Schulte Family Racing Team crushed the competition in both classes. Otto, as the driver, shrugs off the stress of competition by saying, “I just take it one round at a time.” Otto says it would be impossible to double up like this without his pit crew, his wife, Leslie.
“Leslie grabs my time slip after each round and processes the data for me to provide critical information for making decisions for the next round and there always seems to be a next round! There is no way I could get this done by myself. We’re a team and have been so since we began drag racing once we got out of logging camps back in 1998 when we bought our first race car.”
Leslie says, “Our kids were brought up at race tracks when we first started racing in Ashcroft when it first opened, then Mission when it was built in 1991. It’s a bit tough getting off the Island to race, but that’s what it takes to participate at the NHRA certified tracks.”
This year’s accomplishments mark the Schulte’s eighth and ninth career championships.
The Schulte’s off season will be focused on tearing down the car to rebuild key components for next season. Otto says, “Honestly, we will never be able to pull this off again. There are too many racers as good or better than I am and some of the equipment we run against is far superior to the old Falcon. But we will try again!”
The Schultes would like to thank Yvette Jacobson for organizing and Lordco for sponsoring the Super Combo series as they have for many years, through good times and bad. “If it weren’t for the sponsors this sport wouldn’t be there for us.”
– Schulte Family Racing Team