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 30th annual 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
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