Drag racing team owner Don Schumacher has surgery for skin cancer

Don Schumacher, one of the most successful team owners in NHRA drag racing, had surgery Wednesday to treat a form of skin cancer, his team said.

Schumacher, 70, had the procedure at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., after the cancer -- Stage 1 squamous cell carcinoma -- was discovered during his annual checkup there last week.

"I will beat this," Schumacher said in a statement before the surgery. "Finding this early is the key."

His checkup occurred just days after his team, Don Schumacher Racing, won the championships in the two most prestigious classes of National Hot Rod Assn. drag racing at the season finale in Pomona.

Schumacher's son, Tony Schumacher, won a record eighth title in the top-fuel division and Matt Hagan won the championship in the funny car class.

Another of the team's funny car drivers, Ron Capps, said on Twitter late Wednesday: "Plz keep our leader/team owner Don Schumacher in your thoughts."

The Mayo Clinic's website said "Squamous cell carcinoma is usually not life-threatening, though it can be aggressive in some cases."

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