The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car team and J.R. Todd will be heading into the historic NHRA Gatornationals looking to add their names to a historic list of Funny Car winners. For over fifty years the iconic race held at Gainesville Raceway has seen legends made in front of record crowds packing the grandstands all weekend. As the first race on the East Coast the Gatornationals has been the site of record setting performances and memory making runs.
“There is so much history at the Gatornationals you just want to get a win there to add to your resume,” said Todd. “I think you look at the drivers who are Hall of Famers or legendary drivers and they all have at least one win at the Gatornationals. I want to add my name to this list.”
The 2018 NHRA Funny Car is coming into the race with back to back runner-up finishes in Indianapolis including two weeks ago at the prestigious U.S. Nationals. The DHL Toyota Camry has been dominating on race day and that kind of performance gives Todd even more confidence
“We were making improvements once we got back to racing and the past two events we have been right there for our first win of the season,” said Todd. “My crew chief Todd (Smith) and Jon (Oberhofer), are making adjustments and we are really making good runs. One of the many things this team has going for it is we have a lot of confidence in each other. We have been through the ups and downs together so we are staying positive and looking forward to this weekend. I think we still have a shot at this championship.”
The history of the Gatornationals should help turn out the fans for the rescheduled event. Originally scheduled for March this will be the latest the event has been contested. The crowds should turn out for the first event on the east coast of the season.
“There is always a great crowd in Gainesville for this race,” said Todd. “We just need to put our heads down and come out with good runs on Saturday. The race day on Sunday will be a lot of fun if you have a couple good qualifying passes in your back pocket. All the Kalitta Motorsports teams will be working together and even though I am the only Funny Car there is a lot of collaboration over here.”
Last Event Recap (2020 NHRA U.S. Nationals): Qual. No. 8; RUNNER-UP; Beat Blake Alexander, Dale Creasy Jr., and Matt Hagan; Lost to Jack Beckman
2019 Gatornationals Recap: Qual. No. 11; Lost to Jack Beckman
Quotable: J.R. Todd on racing on East Coast: “It will be good to get to a new track. I liked racing in Indy because it was convenient but getting to the East Coast will be cool. We have a ton of fans out here and they have been waiting a long time to see some drag racing. I want to put on a good show with this DHL Toyota Camry.”
Career Stats: 230 events, 222 starts, 246 round wins, 18 wins, 35 finals, 12 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car 78 events, 78 starts, 9 wins, 15 finals, 98 round wins, 3 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Time Wilkerson
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Ron Capps
Indy1 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 4; Beat Alex Miladinovich, Alexis DeJoria; Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Indy2 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 5; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Matt Hagan
Indy3 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 5; RUNNER-UP; Beat Mike McIntire, Cruz Pedregon, Paul Lee; Lost to Ron Capps
U.S. Nationals: Qual. No. 8; RUNNER-UP; Beat Blake Alexander, Dale Creasy Jr., and Matt Hagan; Lost to Jack Beckman
Kalitta Motorsports PR