Drag Illustrated Issue 171, September / October 2021 | Page 90


■ Nitro veteran Tommy Johnson Jr . celebrates his first Funny Car win of the season in just his second race as the substitute driver for his former teammate , Matt Hagan . When Hagan tested positive for COVID-19 before the U . S . Nationals , Johnson was called in from the sidelines to drive Hagan ’ s Don Schumacher Racing-fielded Mopar Dodge // SRT Charger at Indy and again at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove . While Johnson didn ’ t qualify at Indy due to a broken wheelie bar pin in the lone Friday qualifying session , he and the Dickie Venables-led team bounced back with a huge win at Maple Grove . Because of an NHRA policy created in 2020 in response to the pandemic , Hagan received the points Johnson earned and remained in championship contention .
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARC GEWERTZ / NHRA Maple Grove Raceway • Mohnton , Pennsylvania • Sunday , September 12th , 2021
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