The reigning Funny Car champion J.R. Todd is looking to pick up one more round win on Sunday and continue his streak of improvement in the 2019 Countdown. At the Countdown opening race in Reading, Pennsylvania, Todd powered the DHL Toyota Camry to a semifinal finish and two weeks later in St. Louis he lost in the final to teammate Shawn Langdon. The nine-time Funny Car winner is looking to get his first win at zMax Dragway this weekend and reel in his second Funny Car championship. Last year it was Todd’s final round appearance that continued to move him up closer to his first championship.
“We got to the final last year at zMax Dragway and this year we want to get that win,” said Todd. “This track is one of the nicest facilities we come to on the circuit and it is in the heart of NASCAR country. I have a lot of friends over on the NASCAR side of things and I would love to show off for them this weekend. It will be a tough race for sure.”
Tough races are nothing new to Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car. In St. Louis Todd had to defeat three Funny Car world champions just to get to the final against his teammate Shawn Langdon. On the way to the final his opponents had a combined 19 world championships between Jack Beckman, John Force and Robert Hight.
“That was a tough and exciting day of racing,” said Todd. “I hadn’t had much luck against some of those guys this season but we got the win lights. I think you have to be at the top of your game every round all season but in the Countdown you have to take it to another level. I love racing against the other Countdown racers because you can really make up points. That is the name of the game with four races left.”
2018 NHRA Carolina Nationals Highlights:Qual. No. 4;RUNNER-UP; Beat Jonnie Lindberg, Cruz Pedregon, John Force; Lost to Ron Capps
Last Event Recap (2019 NHRA Midwest Nationals): Qual. No. 8; RUNNER-UP; Beat Jack Beckman, John Force, Robert Hight; Lost to Shawn Langdon
Quotable: J.R. Todd on runner-up in St. Louis: “It is always tough to race your teammate. We knew we had to throw down in the final and we just were a little too strong. I was happy to see two Camrys in the final and we will try to do that again in Charlotte. The points are tightening up so it is anybody’s championship right now.”
Career Stats: 220 events, 212 starts, 235 round wins, 18 wins, 33 finals, 12 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car: 68 events, 68 starts, 9 wins, 13 finals, 85 round wins, 3 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Bob Tasca III
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 5; RUNNER-UP; Beat Terry Haddock, Tommy Johnson Jr., Robert Hight, Lost to Matt Hagan
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 11; Lost to Jack Beckman
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 4; WINNER; Beat Gary Densham and Jim Campbell in first quad, Matt Hagan and Jeff Diehl in second quad and in the final quad beat Tommy Johnson Jr., Jack Beckman and Tim Wilkerson.
Houston: Qual. No. 4; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Robert Hight
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 8; Beat Bob Tasca III and Bob Glibertson; Lost to Shawn Langdon and Robert Hight
Atlanta: Qual. No. 2; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Richmond: Qual. No. 4; RUNNER-UP; Beat Bob Tasca III, Shawn Langdon, Jonnie Lindberg; Lost to Ron Capps
Chicago: Qual. No. 6; Lost to John Force
Topeka: Qual. No. 1; Beat bye; Lost to Robert Hight
Bristol: Qual. No. 5; Beat Terry Haddock; Lost to Jack Beckman
Norwalk: Qual. No. 7; Beat Robert Hight; Lost to John Force
Epping: Qual. No. 1; Beat bye; Lost to Tim Wilkerson
Denver: Qual. No. 11; Lost to John Force
Sonoma: Qual. No. 11; Lost to Matt Hagan
Seattle: Qual. No. 2; Beat Jeff Diehl; Lost to Ron Capps
Brainerd: Qual. No. 10; Lost to Ron Capps
Indianapolis: Qual. No. 5; Beat Cruz Pedregon, Ray Martin; Lost to Jack Beckman
Reading: Qual. No. 10; Beat Tommy Johnson Jr., John Smith; Lost to Jack Beckman
St. Louis: Qual. No. 8; RUNNER-UP; Beat Jack Beckman, John Force, Robert Hight; Lost to Shawn Langdon
Kalitta Motorsports PR