J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car team entered the NHRA Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals as the points leader and winner of the previous two Vegas four-wide events in 2018 and 2019. The race was not contested last season due to the pandemic. Todd started the season with a win at the historic Gatornationals and was confident his DHL team led by crew chiefs Todd Smith and Jon Oberhofer could grab a third win at the spring event.
During the two days of qualifying Todd got off of a good start with a 3.980 second run on Friday. On Saturday the team worked on a race day tune up with limited success. On both runs his DHL Camry Funny Car hazed the tires at the top end but Todd felt strongly they were getting closer to a manageable tune-up.
He entered race day as the No. 9 qualifier and needing to finish in the top two racing against No. 1 qualifier Robert Hight, No. 8 qualifier Cruz Pedregon and No. 16 qualifier Jonnie Lindberg. The preparation Todd’s team did after the third qualifying session paid off as his DHL Toyota Funny Car roared to the finish line with a winning time of 3.955 seconds outpacing second place finisher Hight’s 3.980 second pass. The round win gave the team a boost heading into the next round.
The second round quad was comprised of Todd, Hight, Ron Capps and Bob Tasca III. Todd’s DHL Funny Car slowed slightly from his stellar first round pass and crossed the finish line in 3.983 seconds. His streak of seven consecutive round wins at the NHRA Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals came to an end but Todd knew there were more good runs on the horizon.
“We had a great streak going at the four-wide nationals winning the last races here in Vegas,” said Todd. “We were right there in that second round. It is early in the season and I have a lot of confidence in this DHL Toyota Camry team. The first round win was big and our second round quad was stacked for sure. We got that win at the Gatornationals and for sure we would have liked to have gotten a third Vegas Four-Wide Nationals win today. We are right up at the top of the points. I know we will be ready for Atlanta and I will be looking to get four win lights.”
J.R. Todd on racing Vegas Four-Wide Nationals: “We have had a lot of good luck at the Vegas four-wide races. I think my whole team has a really good handle on this race track. I like racing here.”
Qualified: No. 9 (3.980 sec., 325.14 mph)
Bonus points: 0
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
J.R. Todd 9 .045 3.955 319.37 (W)
Robert Hight 1 .082 3.980 311.34 (W)
Cruz Pedregon 8 .051 4.285 283.85
Jonnie Lindberg 16 .081 7.263 91.03
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Ron Capps 4 .081 3.935 321.50 (W)
Bob Tasca III 5 .089 3.934 331.77 (W)
Robert Hight 1 .083 3.951 318.29
J.R. Todd 9 .123 3.983 319.29
Kalitta Motorsports PR