Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge advances to quarterfinals, Johnson ready for more improvement next week at Bristol

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ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 11, 2017) – After a quarterfinal loss on Sunday, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Funny Car team leave the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals with motivation for approaching summer heat.

The Make-A-Wish team led by crew chief John Collins and assistant Rip Reynolds entered raceday as the No. 7 qualified car with a time of 3.945 seconds at 326.71 mph.

They had a first-round matchup against Bob Tasca III where Johnson cruised to a 4.010 (319.67) to go low time of the round to post the win.
In the second round, Johnson lined up against Robert Hight. Johnson experienced problems on the run and slowed to a 4.515 (195.05) and Hight got the win with a 4.048.

“I’m happy we ran well but I’m disappointed in a second-round loss,” Johnson said. “It was just really tough conditions and a really tough track so if you miss it just a little bit it’s going to bite you.

“After we ran low E.T. of the first round we felt confident going into the second round but just missed it just a little bit.

“So, the good news is it’s going to be summer for a while, my car is running well in the heat and we’re learning more each run with this combination. I think that’s going to pay off as the summer goes on.”

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series heads south next this week for Bristol, Tenn., where Johnson and the Make-A-Wish Dodge will try to defend their title in the Thunder Valley Nationals.

Bristol will be the third stop of the Eastern Swing that includes four races in four weeks.

Event winner: Jack Beckman (Don Schumacher Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: Courtney Force (John Force Racing), 3.862 sec.-track record, 331.12 mph

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chief: John Collins; Assistant: Rip Reynolds
Qualified: No, 7
First round: JOHNSON (4.010 sec., 319.67) def. Bob Tasca III 4.949, 182.85)
Second round: Robert Hight (4.048, 314.75) def. JOHNSON (4.515, 195.05)
FRIDAY: 4.312 sec., 217.60 mph, (Session 1); 3.945, 326.71, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.034, 316.67, (Session 3); 3.954, 322.96, (Session 4)
Best Time, Speed: 3.837 sec. (Phoenix 2017); 330.80 mph (Seattle, 2016)
Last event (June 2-4, Epping, NH): Qualified No. 9, lost in semifinals to Matt Hagan
A year ago at Englishtown: Qualified No. 5, lost in second round to Del Worsham
Career at Englishtown: Wins 1 (2007), Runner-ups 0, Poles 1 (2007)

(Official after Englishtown, N.J.; 10th of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. RON CAPPS (4) 931 —–
2. MATT HAGAN (3) 802 -129
3. JACK BECKMAN (1) 652 -279
4. Courtney Force 648 -283
5. Robert Hight 645 -286
6t. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 587 -344
6t. John Force (1) 587 -344
8. J.R. Todd 444 -444
9. Tim Wilkerson 427 -504
10. Del Worsham 372 -559

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 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 307 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at, on Twitter at @shoeracing and

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