J.R. Todd, the defending SpringNationals champion, fell short of repeating today but knows he has a championship contending Funny Car. Looking for his second consecutive win of the season and back-to-back SpringNationals wins Todd squared off with journeyman Jim Campbell in the first round. Todd took a starting line advantage and never trailed in the race. His elapsed time of 3.930 seconds was the third quickest run of the opening session.
“I felt good this morning coming into the race,” said Todd. “That opening run was strong and I knew I had a race car. I love driving this DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car especially when it is putting up numbers like that 3.93 in the first round.”
In the second round facing two-time Funny Car champion Robert Hight Todd was giving up lane choice but the 18-time national event winner was undeterred. It took the quickest elapsed time of the second round to end Todd’s bid to repeat in Houston. Todd was again the third quickest Funny Car of the session but it wasn’t enough to race to the semifinals. The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car lit up the scoreboard with a 3.940 second run but unfortunately Hight’s 3.914 second run was too much.
“Racing against Robert is always tough. I am really proud of my guys,” said Hight. “We moved up to third place in the points and I have a really good feeling about where we are as a team heading into the middle of the season. We put on a great show in Houston.”
J.R. Todd used an impressive effort in qualifying to move up to third place in the Mello Yello Funny Car point standings going into race day. The defending SpringNationals champion was second quickest in qualifying on Friday night picking up two bonus points and on Saturday the DHL Toyota Camry was the quickest Funny Car in session number three earning another three bonus points. In the final session Todd picked up one more bonus point as the third quickest Funny Car down the track. His final three elapsed times were an impress string of low 3.90s, a 3.903, a 3.916 and 3.914 seconds.
Todd on racing to the quarterfinals: “We had a great race weekend. This DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car was amazingly consistent. My crew had this race car dialed in. We made five consecutive passes in the low 3.90s and that is the kind of performance a team needs to win rounds. We are to the east coast and it will start to get hotter. We have a bad ass race car.”
Qualified: No. 4 (3.903 sec., 326.08 mph)
Bonus points: +6 total;
+2 Q2 (3.903 sec), +3 Q3 (3.916 sec) and +1 Q4 (3.941 sec)
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
J.R. Todd 4 .076 3.930 318.99
Jim Campbell 13 .133 8.381 71.17
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
J.R. Todd 4 .073 3.940 318.62
Robert Hight 5 .052 3.914 314.75
Kalitta Motorsports PR