Wish granted by Terry Chandler during Four-Wide Saturday emotional highlight for Johnson, Make-A-Wish and DSR
CONCORD, N.C. (April 29, 2017) – Anytime the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series rolls into zMAX Dragway near Charlotte, Tommy Johnson Jr. looks forward to taking Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Funny Car down the track.
But Saturday was special to the team for a different reason.
Like every weekend, the Make-A-Wish team welcomed Wish Families to the track to be with Johnson and his team in the Don Schumacher Racing camp.
This weekend at the eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Johnson and the team welcomed a Wish Kid by the name of Christopher Michaelson, 9, of Bellingham, Wash. Christopher suffers from Batten’s Disease and wished to be a Pro Stock Motorcycle Racer. Christopher’s wish was granted with help of three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion and former DSR rider Angelle Sampey of Team Liberty Racing
“Christopher was just a cool kid and to be part of granting his wish was an honor,” Johnson said. “I can’t thank the NHRA community of racers enough and for Angelle helping out to grant his wish of being a Pro Stock Motorcycle racer and everyone who helped make it all happen and to Terry for all she does for Make-A-Wish and the kids.
“It was a very touching day and it definitely puts everything in prospective. Each time we’re part of granting a wish, it reminds you how lucky you are.”
Chandler provided Christopher with a full leather riding suit and full-face helmet. Sampey and Team Liberty Racing helped him aboard a stationary 190-mph Victory Magnum motorcycle then started it with Sampey helping him control the throttle.
The Wish was granted by Terry Chandler who funds the Make-A-Wish car as well as DSR’s Infinite Hero Foundation car driven by Jack Beckman.
Johnson finished qualifying as the zMAX Dragway in the No. 7 spot with his time of 3.922 seconds at 319.52 mph. Tomorrow he will race in a quad that includes No. 2 qualifier Robert Hight, No. 10 Beckman and No. 15 Jim Campbell.
“It’s going to be a tough race day,” Johnson said. “We had a really consistent car in qualifying but we need to pick up about 4 or 5 hundredths of a second. We’re consistent but we’re just not quick enough. We’re very close so we know we can do that. If were off in left field, I’d be nervous going into tomorrow but as solid and consistent as we’ve been and all the data we have from going down the track all four runs, I’m confident the guys will pick it up tomorrow when it counts.”
No. 1 qualifier: Courtney Force (John Force Racing) 3.851 sec.-track record, 323.27 mph
TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Terry Chandler’s Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 7
First round: JOHNSON, Jack Beckman, Robert Hight, Jim Campbell
FRIDAY: 3.993 sec., 312.86 mph, (Session 1); 3.922, 319.52, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 3.994, 311.05, (Session 3); 3.952, 316.52, (Session 4)
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 302 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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