BROWNSBURG, Ind.- The Funny Car driven by Tommy Johnson Jr. will sport a new, yet familiar, look the next time it hits the dragstrip. Throughout the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, Johnson will represent The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention, by campaigning the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
Following Terry's passing in July 2017, Chandler opted to continue his wife's legacy by personally funding the 11,000-horsepower machines piloted by Johnson and his Funny Car teammate, Jack Beckman.
From 2014 through the end of 2019, Johnson wheeled the Make-A-Wish Funny Car. After 10 race wins, more than 500 Wish Kids and their families hosted at the track, four Wishes granted, and countless memories made, Chandler made the decision to 'spread the giving car love' by fielding an MD Anderson car full-time in 2020 with Johnson at the wheel. Beckman, a U.S. Air Force veteran, will continue to serve as an ambassador for returning soldiers and their families by promoting the Infinite Hero Foundation on his Hellcat throughout 2020.
"The fans in Baytown, Texas were so supportive of the MD Anderson car last year, and I'm certain the NHRA community will embrace MD Anderson just as they have with Make-A-Wish, Infinite Hero, and Riley," added Chandler.
The relationship with MD Anderson hits especially close to home for team owner Don Schumacher, who is no stranger to the services provided by the renowned institution. Upon his 2014 diagnosis of head and neck cancer, Schumacher also elected to receive treatment at MD Anderson and credits the team for helping him to overcome the disease.
"We at DSR have been affected by cancer in a big way," said Johnson, who hopes to add to his 19 career Funny Car wins behind the wheel of the MD Anderson Dodge. "First it was Don's ordeal, and then Terry, and most recently, Doug. It seems as if these days, pretty much everyone has been affected by cancer in some way - whether it's through a personal diagnosis or through a friend, family member, or coworker. We saw firsthand how much the folks at MD Anderson helped Don and Terry and Doug. MD Anderson does so many great things for not just adults, but kids too. A lot of people have benefitted from what they do. There are so many great and deserving organizations out there, and we couldn't be prouder that Doug has chosen MD Anderson for us to represent this year."
Johnson will drive the MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car at 23 of 24 events in 2020, beginning with the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., February 7 - 9. As is tradition, Johnson's machine will switch over to a one-race-only Riley Kids livery during the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, DSR's hometown event.
Fans can support Chandler and DSR's initiative by visiting http://www.mdanderson.org/myfundraising and using the DSRFC solicitation code when making a donation.
Video reveal of Tommy Johnson Jr.'s MD Anderson Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jPiy_VnaPU&feature=youtu.be
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