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BROWNSBURG, Ind. (May 30, 2017) - After four first-round loses, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Terry Chandler's Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team hope to break their slump as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series begins a four-race swing in Epping, N.H., this weekend.
"Epping is one of my favorite tracks of the season," said Johnson who was runner-up at the NHRA New England Nationals in 2016.
At last year's event, Johnson and the team led by crew chief John Collins and assistant Rip Reynolds entered race day as the No. 3 qualifier with a time of 3.885 seconds at 326.95 mph.
Johnson advanced to the final round of competition before coming up short to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.
"The track has an old school feel, the fans in that area are tremendous and it's beautiful there," Johnson said. "It's a place I look forward to every year. We've done well there the past couple years. Our team seems to turn a corner about this time of the year so I'm excited about going."
This weekend is the fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals located at New England Dragway and the ninth event of the 2017 season.
Johnson and the Make-A-Wish team earned their only win of the season in Las Vegas but have yet to win a round since during eliminations on Sunday.
The Make-A-Wish team hopes to capitalize having four races in four weeks.
"The momentum builds when you go four in a row so why not bang them out? We'll try to get out and do well for that stretch of racing."
TOMMY JOHNSON JR., Make-A-Wish 2017 Dodge Charger R/T
Best Time, Speed: 3.837 sec. (Phoenix 2017); 330.80 mph (Seattle, 2016)
Last event (May 19-21, Topeka): Qualified No. 5, lost in first round to Del Worsham
A year ago at Epping: Qualified No. 3, lost in championship round to DSR teammate Ron Capps
Career at Epping: Wins 0; Runner-ups 2 (2015, 2016); Poles 1 (2015)
1. RON CAPPS (4) 748 -----
2. MATT HAGAN (2) 629 -119
3. John Force (1) 524 -224
4. Robert Hight 518 -230
5. JACK BECKMAN 502 -246
6. Courtney Force 464 -284
7. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 461 -287
8. J.R. Todd 378 -370
9. Tim Wilkerson 360 -388
10. Jonnie Lindberg 318 -430
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 306 NHRA national event titles and 16 world championships.
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