NHRA Funny Car racer Tommy Johnson Jr. wants that Mello Yello Drag Racing Series title but said, “Everybody fixates on the championships. OK, I didn’t win a championship – yet. But my entire life, I’ve done what I love to do.”
As he returns to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park this weekend for the Magic Dry NHRA Arizona Nationals, he marks his 30th anniversary behind the wheel of a nitromethane-burning hot rod. The driver of the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (which Doug Chandler, and not the charity, sponsors entirely) made his professional debut at this event in 1989, competing in the Top Fuel class.
“I came from Iowa, grew up on an eighth-mile dragstrip, and kept saying, ‘That’s what I want to do for a living.’ And I did it. You know what the odds of that are? They’re pretty slim,” Johnson, 50, said.