Make-A-Wish team, Johnson looks for second straight win, move closer to Mello Yello Funny Car points lead at Houston
BROWNSUBRG, Ind. (Aril 19, 2017) – After winning two weeks ago in Las Vegas, Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Make-A-Wish Funny Car team sponsored by Terry Chandler are confident heading to Houston for the 30thannual NHRA SpringNationals.
“Coming off the win in Vegas and having the two-week break, getting to relish in that, I think it’s made us a little more focused on continuing our success,” said Johnson, who jumped to second in points behind Don Schumacher Racing teammate Matt Hagan.
“Our guys worked these past two weeks to make sure we could continue the momentum we’ve got going this season.”
In Las Vegas, Johnson drove his Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car led by crew chief John Collins and assistant Rip Reynolds to the team’s first victory of 2017 and moved to within 44 points of Hagan.
The weekend, NHRA teams travel to Royal Purple Raceway for the fifth race of the season.
In 2016, Johnson qualified No. 7 and advanced to the semifinals where he lost to the eventual event winner.
“Last year we turned the corner a little bit at Houston. We hadn’t done much before we got to the semifinals there. I’ve been to a final there before (2002) but never won it. I’d like to see us continue with we did in Vegas.”
Each week of the NHRA season, Johnson and the team welcome families from the local Wish chapters to the racetrack to meet the crew, tour the trailer and even sit inside the Make-A-Wish Funny Car.
Royal Purple Raceway worked with Make-A-Wish for a ticket promotion with a portion of sales going back to the foundation.
“With Houston doing a promotion and raising funds for Make-A-Wish it gets me excited to be able to go there and give back for the support that the fans have shown us.”
Along with the support of the Make-A-Wish kids, the team wants to bring home a win for their biggest fan: Terry Chandler.
“Terry is the biggest race fan I know. We miss her out of at the track but we all want her to get to get better so that she can get back out here with us,” Johnson said.
TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Make-A-Wish 2017 Dodge Charger R/T – WON LAST EVENT AT LAS VEGAS
Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2017 2nd 4 1 0 2 1 0 1 0 9-3
CAREER 402 16 24 55 99 164 15 44 345-342
Best Time, Speed: 3.837 sec. (Phoenix 2017); 330.80 mph (Seattle, 2016)
Last event (March 31-April 2): Qualified No. 6, won in championship round over Jonnie Lindberg
A year ago at Houston: Qualified No. 7, lost in semifinals to event winner Courtney Force
Career at Houston: Wins 0; Runner-ups 1 (2002); Poles 0
2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES FUNNY CAR STANDINGS
1. MATT HAGAN (2) 368 —–
2. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 324 -44
3. John Force (1) 314 -54
4. RON CAPPS 275 -93
5. Courtney Force 218 -150
6. JACK BECKMAN 205 -163
7. Robert Hight 201 -167
8. Jonnie Lindberg 183 -185
9. Jim Campbell 180 -188
10. J.R. Todd 170 -198
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, the Papa John’s Top Fuel dragster driven by Leah Pritchett and 2013 Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon; 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 300 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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