BROWNSBURG, Ind. (June 20, 2017) – The “June Swing,” comes to a close this weekend as the fourth race of a four-race swing ends at the 11th annual NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, and Tommy Johnson Jr., driver of Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge Funny Car, is ready to close out the month with a win.
“I think we’ve done well in the previous three races after coming out of that slump,” Johnson said. “We’ve turned our team around and I’m excited for the hotter weather and summer conditions.”
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series is in the heat of its 2017 season. June consists of four races in four weeks. The Make-A-Wish team has advanced to the quarterfinals or better at each of the three events so far.
As temperatures continue to go up this month, the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car Powered by Pennzoil, has traveled down hot race tracks as many other cars went up in tire smoke.
“It’s seems to be to our team’s liking. Our car seems to run better when it’s hot and we’re heading into the hotter events now.”
The NHRA Nationals in Norwalk is the 12th event of the 2017 NHRA season.
“I do enjoy the track and the fans there,” Johnson said. “The facility is really nice. It’s a race I always look forward to every season.”
Last year in Norwalk, the Make-A-Wish team, led by crew chief John Collins and assistant Rip Reynolds, finished qualifying as the No. 8 seed.
Johnson beat Tim Wilkerson in the first round and Del Worsham in the quarterfinals. He then was defeated by Courtney Force in the semifinals.
The Make-A-Wish team earned the event title in Las Vegas in March but has yet to revisit the winner’s circle. Johnson says he and the team would love to earn their second win of the season at Norwalk.
“Not having won a race there in the past, it would be nice to get a win there just because it’s such a nice event and great track.”
TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2017 6th 11 1 0 4 2 4 1 0 14-10
CAREER 409 16* 24 57 100 168 15 44 350-349
* 14 FC/2 TF
Best Time, Speed: 3.837 sec. (Phoenix 2017); 330.80 mph (Seattle, 2016)
NORWALK BY THE NUMBERS
Last event (June 18), Bristol, Tenn.: Qualified No. 8, lost in semifinals to Jack Beckman
A year ago at Norwalk: Qualified No. 8, lost in semifinals to Courtney Force
Career at Norwalk: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0
2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
(Official after Bristol, Tenn.; 11th of 24 events; wins in parenthesis; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. RON CAPPS (5) 1,044 —–
2. MATT HAGAN (3) 881 -163
3. JACK BECKMAN (1) 748 -296
4. Robert Hight 707 -337
5. Courtney Force 704 -340
6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 663 -381
7. John Force (1) 641 -403
8. Tim Wilkerson 490 -554
9. J.R. Todd 476 -578
10. Del Worsham 394 -650
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 309 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 702.524.1368
Leah Vaughn (email@example.com), 618.516.1988