Chandler’s Make-A-Wish team with Johnson need to go rounds this weekend in Southern Nationals near Atlanta to snap slump

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BROWNSBURG, Ind. (May 3, 2017) – Tommy Johnson Jr. is honest about how he feels about Atlanta Dragway: It isn’t one of his favorite NHRA tracks.

This weekend at the 37th annual NHRA Southern Nationals, he’s hoping to change his feelings about the track in Commerce, Ga.

Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team led by crew chief John Collins and assistant Rip Reynold, has never advanced to a final round in the Southern Nationals. Johnson hopes this weekend’s race will have a different outcome.

“In the past, I’ve had some not so great things happen there,” Johnson said. “It’s one of those tracks that you want to break the curse one of these days and see if you can’t win one there.”

The Make-A-Wish team is also looking to get back some momentum from their win in Las Vegas in early April. They have yet to win a round since their win.

“We struggled a little bit the last few races on race day. We did OK in qualifying and were in the top half of the field but just weren’t able to make that successful on race day.”

For two weeks in a row, the Make-A-Wish team has qualified No. 7 and has been knocked out of competition in the opening round by a lower qualified car.

“We stayed and tested Monday after the race in Charlotte and hopefully we learned some good stuff that we can use and get back on track and maybe win some rounds in Atlanta.”

Weather forecasts for Atlanta looks very uncharacteristic. Typically, when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series travels to the Southern Nationals, crew chiefs plan for a hot, sticky racetrack but this weekend weather forecasters are expecting cooler temperatures.

“If the weather forecast stays like it is now, you’re going to probably see the best race we’ve ever seen in Atlanta,” Johnson said. “Usually we go there and it’s hot and humid and with the temperatures they’re calling of now, there could be conditions that we could see some new records.”

The Southern Nationals is the final race of a three-race swing for the NHRA circuit.

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