Johnson knows Make-A-Wish team must win this weekend at Motorplex to stay in running for Funny Car championship

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BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Oct. 11, 2017) – With only three events of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Season remaining, Tommy Johnson Jr. stays hopeful that Terry and Doug Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Funny Car team can win the NHRA championship.

“Realistically, we have to win the next three races to have a shot at the Championship,” Johnson said.

“But it can be done so you can’t throw in the towel and give up now. We have our work cut out for us. There’s no reason we can’t do it. It’s going to be a tough battle.”

The Chandler’s Make-A-Wish team sits No. 7 in the NHRA points and 204 points behind the leader and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.

This weekend the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas for the 32rd annual NHRA FallNationals.

In 2016, Johnson entered the event as the No. 3 qualifier but lost in the second round on Sunday former Funny Car and Top Fuel world champion Del Worsham.

“It’s been warm there the past few years so we should have good data to go off when we get there,” said Johnson, who was the runner-up for the championship last year after being third the previous two years.

“We’ve ran so-so the past few years. I’ve been racing many years on that all-concrete surface. The track is always good and we’ll see if we can’t get the job done.”

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Terry and Doug Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chief: John Collins; Assistant: Rip Reynolds
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2017 7th 21 1 4 5 5 6 1 0 31-20
CAREER 419 16* 28 58 102 170 15 44 367-359
* 14 FC/2 TF
Career best time, speed: 3.837 sec. (Phoenix 2017); 332.02 mph (Sonoma 2017)
Last event: Sept. 29-Oct. 1: Qualified No. 9, lost in first round to Matt Hagan
A year ago at Dallas: Qualified No. 3, lost in second round to Del Worsham
Career at Dallas: Wins 0, Runner-ups 1 (1999), Poles 0

1. RON CAPPS (8) 2395 —–
2. Robert Hight (3) 2349 -46
3. Courtney Force 2287 -108
4. MATT HAGAN (3) 2238 -157
5. JACK BECKMAN (2) 2228 -167
6. John Force (1) 2197 -198
7. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 2191 -204
8. J.R. Todd (2) 2168 -227
9. Tim Wilkerson 2130 -265
10 Cruz Pedregon 2096 -299

About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven 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 Pizza/Mopar 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 80th anniversary Mopar/ Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, and 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr., both of which are funded by the late Terry Chandler.
DSR has won 316 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at, on Twitter at @shoeracing and