J.R. Todd had the advantage at the light and never trailed on the way to defeating Ron Capps to win the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway Park, Monday. The win was the third in the last four races for a Kalitta Motorsports Toyota Camry Funny Car.
Todd, an Indiana native, defeated Brian Stewart, Cruz Pedregon and Tim Wilkerson to advance to the finals against point leader Ron Capps. In the final, Todd cut a .054 light and led the entire way to earn his first U.S. Nationals title.
“I felt our DHL Camry ran really well,” Todd said. “The numbers don’t always show because sometimes the drivers are robbing a hundredth or two on the starting line. We were right there with the front-runners, we just had a hiccup in the semis when we pushed a little hard and spun the tires and got a lucky break when Tim Wilkerson hit the cone. I’ll take it however we can get it. I think our DHL Toyota Camry is going in the right direction at the right time of year – and now it’s time to let it all hang out for the next six races.”
The victory pushed Todd up to eighth in the final Countdown to the Championship standings. He will be joined in the Funny Car playoffs by fellow Camry driver Cruz Pedregon, who passed Alexis DeJoria with a first-round victory.  DeJoria lost the tenth spot, despite running the fourth-quickest time of the opening round as she fell to Capps. Del Worsham won his opening round match-up over John Force before losing in round two to Jack Beckman.
Three Toyota Top Fuel drivers advanced to the second round today as Antron Brown, Doug Kalitta and Shawn Langdon all won their opening match-ups. Richie Crampton lost to Kalitta in round one of his debut in the SealMaster Toyota dragster.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will open the 2017 Countdown to the Championship Playoffs at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, September 15-17. 
Toyota Racing PR/Photo
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