Monthly Archives: May 2017

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Make-A-Wish team travels to New England where Johnson hopes to break first-round curse and begin climbing Mello Yello standings

Category : DSR news

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (May 30, 2017) – After four first-round loses, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team hope to break their slump as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series begins a four-race swing in Epping, N.H., this weekend.

“Epping is one of my favorite tracks of the season,” said Johnson who was runner-up at the NHRA New England Nationals in 2016.

At last year’s event, Johnson and the team led by crew chief John Collins and assistant Rip Reynolds entered race day as the No. 3 qualifier with a time of 3.885 seconds at 326.95 mph.

Johnson advanced to the final round of competition before coming up short to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.

“The track has an old school feel, the fans in that area are tremendous and it’s beautiful there,” Johnson said. “It’s a place I look forward to every year. We’ve done well there the past couple years. Our team seems to turn a corner about this time of the year so I’m excited about going.”

This weekend is the fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals located at New England Dragway and the ninth event of the 2017 season.

Johnson and the Make-A-Wish team earned their only win of the season in Las Vegas but have yet to win a round since during eliminations on Sunday.

The Make-A-Wish team hopes to capitalize having four races in four weeks.

“The momentum builds when you go four in a row so why not bang them out? We’ll try to get out and do well for that stretch of racing.”


TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Make-A-Wish 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2017 7th 8 1 0 2 1 4 1 0 9-7
CAREER 406 16* 24 55 99 168 15 44 345-346
* 16 FC/2 TF
Best Time, Speed: 3.837 sec. (Phoenix 2017); 330.80 mph (Seattle, 2016)
Last event (May 19-21, Topeka): Qualified No. 5, lost in first round to Del Worsham
A year ago at Epping: Qualified No. 3, lost in championship round to DSR teammate Ron Capps
Career at Epping: Wins 0; Runner-ups 2 (2015, 2016); Poles 1 (2015)

Funny Car
1. RON CAPPS (4) 748 —–
2. MATT HAGAN (2) 629 -119
3. John Force (1) 524 -224
4. Robert Hight 518 -230
5. JACK BECKMAN 502 -246
6. Courtney Force 464 -284
7. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 461 -287
8. J.R. Todd 378 -370
9. Tim Wilkerson 360 -388
10. Jonnie Lindberg 318 -430

 


ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 27,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 37 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,200 in 2014 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields eight professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Papa John’s Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 306 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Jeff Wolf (wolfj@shoeracing.com), 702.524.1368
Leah Vaughn (vaughnl@shoeracing.com), 618.516.1988


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Johnson’s plan to end slump for Chandler’s Make-A-Wish team goes up in flames in first round on Sunday in Heartland Nationals

Category : DSR news

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 21, 2017) – Tommy Johnson Jr. wanted to leave Heartland Park with a bang, but Sunday’s explosive first round wasn’t exactly what he and Terry Chandler’s Funny Car team had in mind.

During the opening round of competition at Sunday’s 29th annual NHRA Heartland Nationals, Johnson lined up against Del Worsham.

Johnson left the starting line first but as he drove down the track, his car blew up in a ball of flames and Worsham drove around him to get the round win.

“It’s frustrating you know?” Johnson said. “We ran so good in qualifying and had a great race car for today.”

The Make-A-Wish team, led by crew chief John Collins and assistant Rip Reynolds, entered the event as the No. 5 qualifier with a time of 3.847 seconds at Johnson’s career-best speed of 331.61 mph.

“Then we come out and it just come loose down there, start spinning the tires and blew the blower off of it. We’ll regroup and go try it again.”

Unfortunately, Sunday marks the fourth straight race that the Make-A-Wish lost in the first round.

The Make-A-Wish team and the rest of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series will have the Memorial Day weekend off before heading to Epping, N.H., and the New England Dragway to start the “Eastern Swing” that includes four races in four weeks.


FUNNY CAR
Event winner:
No. 1 qualifier: Matt Hagan (Don Schumacher Racing), 3.802 sec.-world record, 338.85 mph-world record

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chief: John Collins; assistant: Rip Reynolds
Qualified: No. 5
SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS
First round: Del Worsham (3.968 sec., 326.97) def. JOHNSON (4.456, 190.83)
QUALIFYING RESULTS
FRIDAY: 3.990 sec., 323.43 mph, (Session 1); rained out, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.882, 325.61, (Session 3); 3.847, 331.61-career-best, (Session 4)
Best Time, Speed: 3.837 sec. (2017 Phoenix); 331.61 mph (2017 Topeka)
Career at Topeka: Wins 0; Runner-ups 2 (2005, 1999); Poles 1 (2007)

Funny Car
1. RON CAPPS (4) 748 —–
2. MATT HAGAN (2) 629 -119
3. John Force (1) 524 -224
4. Robert Hight 518 -230
5. JACK BECKMAN 502 -246
6. Courtney Force 464 -284
7. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 461 -287
8. J.R. Todd 378 -370
9. Tim Wilkerson 360 -388
10. Jonnie Lindberg 318 -430

 


ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 27,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 37 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,200 in 2014 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields eight professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Papa John’s Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 306 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Jeff Wolf (wolfj@shoeracing.com), 702.524.1368
Leah Vaughn (vaughnl@shoeracing.com), 618.516.1988


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Johnson posts career-best speed with Collins’ tune-up as Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge qualifies fifth at Topeka

Category : DSR news

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 20, 2017) – A win at the NHRA Heartland Nationals is a one that will mean a little more than most to driver Tommy Johnson Jr. and his crew chief John Collins.

Johnson and Collins grew up in Ottumwa, Iowa, about three hours from Topeka where the eighth NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event is being held at Heartland Park. It’s one of his home tracks.
“It’s kind of like going home for me,” Johnson said.

The driving forces for Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish 2017 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team will enter race day on Sunday as the No. 5 qualifier.

Johnson qualified with a best time of 3.847 seconds at a career-best speed of 331.61 mph on his last run Saturday.

“I really like the way the car is running as far as tune-up goes,” Johnson said. “We made three runs down the racetrack and improved every session. It kind of fits the overall picture of what we’ve been trying to do with changing the way we run this race car and tuning it. It’s showing promise every single run and getting better and better.”

On Friday, Johnson ran a lap of 3.990 seconds at 323.43 mph. Later, NHRA cancelled the second session because of storms in the Topeka area.

“We didn’t run the big speeds or the low ETs like a couple of them did but we’re very close. We’re in the same zip code at least now. I feel good going into tomorrow. John and Rip (Reynolds, assistant crew chief) are liking what they see on the tune-up and they’re going the right direction every time.

“It’ll be a little warmer on Sunday. There might be a little more sun but this racetrack is so good. I don’t think you’ll see a huge fall off. It’s not going to be the record conditions like we saw today but it’ll still be good and will still be quick.”

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 5
SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS
First round: Del Worsham
QUALIFYING RESULTS
FRIDAY: 3.990 sec., 323.43 mph, (Session 1); rained out, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.882, 325.61, (Session 3); 3.847, 331.61, (Session 4)


ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 27,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 37 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,200 in 2014 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields eight professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Papa John’s Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 304 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Jeff Wolf (wolfj@shoeracing.com), 702.524.1368
Leah Vaughn (vaughnl@shoeracing.com), 618.516.1988


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Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Funny Car team travels to Heartland Park where Iowa native Johnson recalls milestones at hometown track

Category : DSR news

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (May 17, 2017) – It only takesTommy Johnson Jr. three hours to drive from his hometown of Ottumwa, Iowa, to Topeka, Kan.

“It’s kind of like going home for me,” Johnson said of this weekend’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Heartland Park Topeka. “It’s close to Iowa so a lot of people I used to race with show up.

“I’ve had a lot of different accomplishments at Heartland Park. I got into the ‘Four Second Club’ there back in the day.”

The milestone was in 1990 when Cragar wheels saluted the first 16 Top Fuel drivers to crack into the 4-second range over a quarter mile.

“It’s a place I always look forward to going back to each year.”

Johnson’s crew chief John Collins also is from Ottumwa.

This weekend, the NHRA Mello Yello series travels to Heartland Park for the 29th annual NHRA Heartland Nationals that is eighth event of the 2017 season.

Johnson and Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Funny Car team plan to bounce back from their first-round slump during the three-race Southern Swing that ended two weeks ago.

“We want to try to turn things around. We kind of went a different direction with the tuning of the car but I like we’re were at now,” said Johnson, who won this year’s title at Las Vegas. “We haven’t had the results we’re looking for but we’re close.”

Johnson hopes Topeka will bring a similar outcome.

“If you’re going to win later in the season you have to be able to keep working all the time and make yourself better when it really counts. We’re working our way in that direction and this weekend we’ll see the results.”

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Make-A-Wish 2017 Dodge Charger R/T – Iowa native looks to snap streak
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2017 5th 7 1 0 2 1 3 1 0 9-6
CAREER 405 16 24 55 99 167 15 44 345-345­
Best Time, Speed: 3.837 sec. (Phoenix 2017); 330.80 mph (Seattle, 2016)
Last event (May 5-7, Atlanta): Qualified No. 3, lost in round one
A year ago at Topeka: Qualified No. 7, lost to DSR teammate Jack Beckman in second round
Career at Topeka: Wins 0; Runner-ups 2 (2005, 1999); Poles 1 (2007)

Funny Car
1. RON CAPPS (3) 633 —–
2. MATT HAGAN (2) 539 -94
3. John Force (1) 490 -143
4. Robert Hight 437 -196
5. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 427 -206
6. JACK BECKMAN 426 -207
7. Courtney Force 405 -228
8. Tim Wilkerson 329 -304
9. J.R. Todd 326 -307
10. Jonnie Lindberg 318 -315

 


ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 27,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 37 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,200 in 2014 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields eight professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Papa John’s Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 304 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.


FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Jeff Wolf (wolfj@shoeracing.com), 702.524.1368
Leah Vaughn (vaughnl@shoeracing.com), 618.516.1988


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Chandler’s Make-A-Wish team, Johnson eager to return home after another early loss in NHRA Southern Nationals near Atlanta

Category : DSR news

The Make-A-Wish crew hasn’t since the swing started in Houston then stopped at Charlotte before ending with the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga.

The team won the event title at Las Vegas and moved up to second in the standings before the swing began in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings. But since then, one gremlin after another has bit the team and contributed to it contributed to the team losing the first round for the third race in three weeks.

“It wasn’t the best three-race swing we’ve had,” Johnson said.

The Mello Yello Drag Racing series concluded a three-race swing through the South with stops at Houston and Charlotte before heading to Atlanta.

Johnson and the team, led by crew chief John Collins and assistant Rip Reynolds, entered race day as the No. 3 qualifier with a qualifying time of 3.937 seconds at 319.29 mph in the last session Saturday. They faced their Don Schumacher Racing teammate and Chandler’s other Dodge driven by Jack Beckman and the Infinite Hero Foundation team.

Johnson went into tire smoke and coasted to a 4.928 (159.61) as Beckman drove to a 3.958.

“It’s showing signs of encouragement,” Johnson said of the car’s performance.

“It hit the bump out there and the tires came loose. We’re confident that we’re close to running really well again. It’s just a matter of a few more runs and we’ll be there.”

In two weeks, the NHRA circuit travels to Topeka, Kan., for the NHRA Heartland Nationals.

“I like racing Topeka. It’s always been a good track for me.

“The guys will go back to the shop. It’ll give them some time to look at the data we’ve gathered. So, we’ll come out to Topeka with the right calls and hopefully go right down through there. I think the car is right on the verge of performing where it had been and we weren’t that bad off to begin with.”

FUNNY CAR RESULTS FROM ATLANTA DRAGWAY
Event winner:
No. 1 qualifier: Courtney Force (John Force Racing), 3.893 sec.-track record, 322.65 mph

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chief: John Collins; assistant: Rip Reynolds
Qualified: No. 3
SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS
First round: Jack Beckman (3.958 sec., 312.93) def. JOHNSON (4.928, 159.61)
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: rained out
SATURDAY: 4.731 sec., 169.85, (Session 3); 3.937, 319.29, (Session 4)
Best Time, Speed: 3.825 sec.-second quickest ever, (2016 Pomona 2); 334.15 mph (Seattle 2016)
Last event (April 28-30, Charlotte Four-Wide): Qualified No. 10, runner-up to event winner and DSR teammate Ron Capps
Career at Atlanta: Wins 2 (2011, 2009); Runner-ups 1 (2016); Poles 1 (2016)


ABOUT MAKE-A-WISH
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 27,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 37 minutes. It has granted more than 254,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,200 in 2014 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.


About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields eight professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the Matco Tools dragster driven by three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Papa John’s Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett; and in Funny Car, 2016 world champion Ron Capps in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T; 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.

DSR has won 304 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.

Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing.