NORWALK, Ohio (June 24, 2017) – After three nice qualifying runs, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team enter race day of the 11th annual NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio on Sunday with confidence.
Friday in Norwalk brought rain and delayed qualifying a bit. Temperatures rose on Saturday to match predicted temperatures for Sunday’s championship round.
The Make-A-Wish team, led by crew chief John Collins with assistant crew chief Rip Reynolds, finished qualifying with an effort of 3.925 seconds at 329.34 mph to seed them No. 5.
“We made three solid runs in qualifying and the car was consistent,” Johnson said. “Conditions will be a little different tomorrow but similar to what we saw today.”
During Saturday’s first session, Johnson clocked a time of 4.008 (320.05) for the second-quickest lap of the session. Later he made another solid 3.990 lap (316.38).
Track conditions from the final qualifying session will be similar to what teams will see tomorrow on Sunday.
“We made two good runs today and if we keep that up and continue the momentum we’ve had the last three races, we should be good for tomorrow.”
Johnson will face J.R. Todd of Kalitta Motorsports for the opening round of competition. This is only the second event that the two have met on Sunday as Todd spent the past few years racing in the Top Fuel division. Their previous meetup resulted in Johnson winning over Todd.
The NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio will close out the “June Swing,” a four-race series throughout the month.
“Not having won a race (at Norwalk) in the past, it would be nice to get a win (here) 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
Crew chief: John Collins; Assistant: Rip Reynolds
SUNDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
First round: J.R. Todd
Qualified: No. 5
FRIDAY: 8.568 sec., 82.47 mph, (Session 1); 3.925, 329.34, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.008, 320.05, (Session 3); 3.990, 316.38, (Session 4)
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
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.
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