Looking for a top-tier Funny Car ride? Don Schumacher will begin his driver search this week and the top item along with talent will be personality. The successor had better be able to crack a joke or two.

"I have talked to a couple of individuals really on the sidelines," Schumacher said. "Until Gary really made his decision ... I hadn't made a decision as to what I was going to do. We are going to look out there in all of the classes from the alcohol classes down into the Pro Stock classes. I will communicate with many drivers out there.

“Gary … besides being a great driver … is a great personality. We need to find someone that is close to that. They certainly won’t be equal to what Gary is. We need to bring a character into the sport. We will develop someone that has a personality or can come close to his personality.”

Schumacher declined to drop any names.

“I really don’t want to put a name out there at this time,” Schumacher said. “There really isn’t anyone at the top of the list or the bottom of the list. I want to open it up to the whole sport … NHRA and IHRA … to develop and look for a person that can fill the seat.”

Schumacher will include Scelzi in the process of finding a suitable successor.

“I look for Gary to have input into the decision. I told him that I need to have some names and he’s mentioned a few names. I’ve spoken to a few people. I will also include Kevin Miller, Chris Cortez, Jim Jannard, Mike Neff and all of my other confidants I have in the sport to assist me in making the decision.

Schumacher will search aggressively in the next few weeks and plans on testing drivers on Mondays following national events in order to evaluate talent.