J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters Toyota team put together a solid first round pass, but despite recording the fourth-best effort of the session, Todd was defeated.
Todd had a decent qualifying effort as the DHL Toyota was able to score a bonus point in the third qualifying session. The 3.919 seconds pass moved Todd inside the top half of the field for the second straight weekend. He earned the eighth starting spot and was paired in the first round with Winternationals winner Matt Hagan.
After watching most of the cars struggle to make clean runs, Todd and Hagan came to the the line as the final pair of nitro racing in the first round. Todd was ready and recorded the best reaction time of the class. The DHL Toyota reached the finish line in 4.017 seconds, which was the fourth best run of the session. Still, despite Todd’s efforts on the line and the solid pass, Hagan was able to score the round win by laying down the second-best pass of the session.
Qualified: No. 8 (3.919 sec., 323.43 mph)
E1: Todd defeated by Hagan – 4.017 sec., 320.66 mph to 3.910 sec., 331.85 mph
Quotable: “We had some very tricky track conditions here in Phoenix and we definitely did not perform the way we needed to get by Hagan. We will go back and regroup and get ready for Gainesville.”
Point Standings: 10th; leads Cruz Pedregon by one point; trails John Force by 12 points
Kalitta Motorsports PR/Photo Gary Nastase Photography