Close race doesn’t go Todd’s way in Reading

Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota team lost by mere inches in the first round in Reading today.

The Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith machine was solid in qualifying with three complete runs. Their best, a 3.929, gave the DHL driver the seventh starting spot going into Sunday’s eliminations.

For the fifth time this season, Todd would face Tim Wilkerson. Todd had yet to take a loss to the veteran, but that streak would end. Todd scored a stellar .059 reaction time, which was among the top five in the class, but Wilkerson was able to just edge ahead at the finish line. Todd’s combined reaction time and elapsed time would have defeated five of the other seven first round Funny Car winners.

Qualified: No. 7 (3.929 sec., 326.87 mph) 

E1: Todd defeated by Wilkerson – 3.958 sec., 326.71 mph to 3.953 sec., 326.56 mph

Quotable: “Really tough loss in a very close drag race there in the first round with Wilk. I really hate it for my DHL Toyota team; we haven’t been running exactly what we wanted to all weekend. So when you lose in a close race like that it really stings. However, we are still focused and know we have a shot at it. Our plan is to go into St. Louis and run strong.”

Point Standings: Seventh; leads John Force by 19 points for eighth; trails Tommy Johnson Jr. by 24 for sixth

Kalitta Motorsports PR/Photo Gary Nastase Photography

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