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

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)
BY THE NUMBERS
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
 
FUNNY CAR                                                    
  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

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