Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge with Johnson hope to continue tradition of winning on Father’s Day in Thunder Valley Nationals

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BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 17, 2017) – With Father’s Day approaching, Tommy Johnson Jr. has the perfect gift in mind for his father Tommy Johnson Sr.: a NHRA Wally trophy from the 17th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol, Tenn.

“It seems like things happen for us on Father’s Day weekend so it gives you more confidence than maybe some other race weekends,” said Johnson, who has won at Thunder Valley twice on Father’s Day.

Sunday, Johnson and Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Funny Car team will take a stab at the tricky Tennessee track.

“It’s been a tough weekend for everybody with the hot track conditions we’ve seen. Unfortunately, we missed it a little bit when conditions were better. But I still feel like we’re racing in the hot conditions and we’ve ran well in the heat.”

The team will enter race day as the No. 8 qualified Funny Car with their best effort of 4.000 seconds at 315.93 mph from the final qualifying session. Johnson will face off against Jonnie Lindberg of Jim Head Racing.

The Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Powered by Pennzoil posted a lap during the heat of the day Friday to open qualifying of 4.050 (309.49) to go low of the round as many other Funny Cars went into smoke.

“We were No. 1 after the first session so I think going into tomorrow, we’ll have a good tune-up for it. We’ve got a lot of history here and it was hot like this last year when we won. So going into race day, I feel confident knowing what we’ve done here in the past few years.”

Johnson hoisted the Wally trophy in 2014 and in 2016.

“Bristol always falls near my dad’s birthday and I’ve been able to celebrate his birthday and Father’s Day with him a few times at the end of the day in the winner’s circle and I’d love to do it again this year.”

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chief: John Collins; Assistant: Rip Reynolds
Qualified: No. 8
First round: Jonnie Lindberg
FRIDAY: 4.050 sec., 309.49 mph, (Session 1); 4.092, 277.26, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.420, 205.60, (Session 3); 4.000, 315.93, (Session 4)
Best Time, Speed: 3.837 sec. (Phoenix 2017); 330.80 mph (Seattle, 2016)
Last event (June 11), Englishtown, N.J.: Qualified No. 7, lost in second round to Robert Hight
A year ago at Bristol: Qualified No. 6, won in championship round over Matt Hagan
Career at Bristol: Wins 2 (2014, 2016); Runner-ups 0; Poles 0


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

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