Carson Valley’s Mike Schiller going for another Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series championship |

Carson Valley’s Mike Schiller going for another Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series championship

Charles Whisnand
Mike Schiller drives Centsless at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Ariz., during a race in 2006.
R-C file photo


1991: Schiller was part of the Carson Valley-based Dick Clark Racing Team that set the B/Gas Lakester world land record of 254.85 mph at the Bonneville Speed Week in Utah. He was in charge of engine maintenance.

2003: He won the International Hot Boat Association Pro-Eliminator championship

2013: He placed second in his class at an Arizona Drag Boat Racing Association event in Parker, Ariz., and while pleased enough with the finish, he emphasized that it was only a step in what he foresees being his return to the upper-echelon of the sport after a multi-year absence.

2017: And he returned to championship status earlier this month with his Quick Eliminator class win at the World Finals of the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series in Chandler, Ariz.

Mike Schiller is at it again.

The Carson Valley native, 63, is seeking another championship in the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series.

And he continues to be an inspiration while he’s doing it.

Last year, Schiller continued his triumphant return to racing when he won the World Finals of the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing in the Quick Eliminator class. It was the fifth time he won the World Finals.

Schiller, a retired local businessman who formerly owned Golden Nugget Automotive in Gardnerville, came all the way back to win the title after losing control of the vehicle he was test driving in 2010. He went into a ditch at about 30 mph and flew through the windshield, landing face-first.

Schiller said he woke up with a lame left arm, no left leg below the knee, no front teeth and a severe brain injury. He progressed from being in a coma and using a wheelchair to being able to walk out of the hospital. Schiller races with an artificial leg.

In 2011 in his first race back, Schiller qualified first in an event in Missouri.

In Schiller’s drag boat event he covers a 1,000 feet at 150 miles an hour in six seconds.

Now in 2018, Schiller is third in the standings in his class in the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series. He has three more events in his effort to move up to win the title:

Two more events on Aug. 24-26 in Parker, Ariz., and Oct. 13-14 in Parker and the Nov. 2-4 World Finals in Chandler, Ariz, near Phoenix

“We’re coming into my home turf guys, look out,” said Schiller about what he tells his competition about the World Finals. “That’s where I’m deadly, in Phoenix.”

About winning another time, Schiller said, “I’m pretty confident about being able to put this thing to rest. This may be my last shot at winning a world championship.”

On the other hand, though, Schiller said the future looks bright as he may have a chance to drive for another team next year.

That would be a chance for Schiller, who’s pretty much a one-man team. “I pretty much do my own mechanics,” he said.

Schiller called it an “amazing thing” he’s racing. “Good let me live to be an example for people who are less fortunate than I am. I really believe that. You can’t give up.”

With that in mind, Schiller is putting on the 30th annual 2018 Main Street Event car show will be held on August 17.

The event will be held from 4 p.m. to whenever it ends at Minden Park at Esmerelda Street.

Specials will be offered by the 20-30 Club which will be serving beer and tri-tip sandwiches. There will also be dancing in the street to the music of Mixed Company.

The event is open to all cars: Old, new and race cars, lifted trucks, sport utility vehicles and any vehicle of interest. Cost is $25 per vehicle.

All proceeds go to City of Refuge which provides housing and resources for teenagers and unmarried women who are pregnant.

For more information call 775-721-8686 or email