Johnson, Make-A-Wish Dodge team start looking forward to 2018 on Monday with Las Vegas test session, after tough season

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LAS VEGAS (Oct. 29, 2017) – After their second round loss on Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Terry and Doug Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Funny Car team with Tommy Johnson Jr. look toward closing the season with a win and getting ready for the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Series season.

When Johnson lost to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman that mathematically eliminated him from contending for the championship in two weeks at the season-finale at Pomona, Calif.

Johnson and the team were championship runners-up last year and finished third the two previous seasons.

The late Terry Chandler was the financial backer of the Make-A-Wish team as well as the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge driven by Beckman. Chandler died on July 4 after a valiant battle with cancer, and her husband Doug has taken over funding the teams.

“It’s been a tough year for our team,” Johnson said. “We’ve had a lot of issues with losing Terry (Chandler) and three crew members losing family members. It’s just been a rough year, but we keep fighting.”

“We made a little improvement this weekend, just a tough weekend. We got a round win but that’s not what we’re used to.”

Johnson defeated nitro rookie and former Alcohol Funny Car world champion Jonnie Lindberg in the opening session on Sunday.

“We’ll test here tomorrow and try some new things for next season and see if we can’t start working toward that.”

TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Terry and Doug Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T
Crew chief: John Collins; Assistant: Rip Reynolds
First round: JOHNSON (3.962 sec., 320..51) def. Jonnie Lindberg (4.197, 254.95)
Second round: Jack Beckman (3.947, 32854), JOHNSON (8.344, 93.10)
Qualifying position: No. 9
FRIDAY: 4.308 sec., 212.63 mph, (Session 1); 4.021, 286.74, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 9.626, 86.66, (Session 3); 3.922, 325.77, (Session 4)
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2017 7th 22 1 4 5 5 7 1 0 31-21
CAREER 420 16* 28 58 102 171 15 44 367-360
*14 FC/2 TF
Career best time, speed: 3.837 sec. (Phoenix 2017); 332.02 mph (Sonoma 2017)
Last event, Oct. 15, Dallas: Qualified No. 7, lost in first round to John Force
A year ago at Las Vegas 2: Qualified No. 10, lost in first round to Del Worsham
This spring at Las Vegas 1: Qualified No. 6. won in championship round over Jonnie Lindberg
Career at Las Vegas 2: Wins 0, Runner-ups 2 (2015-16), Poles 1 (2015)
Career at Las Vegas: Wins 1 (2001), Runner-ups 3 (2002, 2015-16) , Poles 1 (2015)

1. Robert Hight (4) 2548 —-
2. RON CAPPS (8) 2533 -15
3. Courtney Force 2423 -125
4. JACK BECKMAN (2) 2396 -152
5. MATT HAGAN (4) 2387 -161
x-6. John Force (1) 2306 -242
x-7. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 2276 -272
x-8. Tim Wilkerson 2237 -311
x-9. J.R. Todd (2) 2233 -315
x-10. Cruz Pedregon 2163 -345
x=eliminated from championship contention

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 317 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.

Follow Don Schumacher Racing at, on Twitter at @shoeracing and