The NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will be a chance for J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car team to do something no other Funny Car team has done in the modern era. A win on Sunday would make them the only Funny Car team with wins at the only two tracks hosting the unique four-wide races. Todd has collected two four-wide wins at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2018 and 2019 but a win at zMAX Dragway has eluded the 2018 Funny Car world champion.
“We have run really well at the Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas and I am hoping to get a streak started this weekend in Charlotte,” said Todd. “We raced to the semifinals in Atlanta but we are still fine tuning this DHL Camry Funny Car. I know the Yella Fellas will get us on the right track. We have a lot going on this weekend with our sponsors NGK Spark Plugs, Toyota and DHL so it will be a busy race but that is what I like. I just have to stay focused and do my job.”
At the season opening Gatornationals Todd raced to his first win of the season defeating Robert Hight in a pedalfest that had the fans in the packed grandstands on the edge of their seats. Todd has followed that up with a No. 1 qualifier performance at the Southern Nationals and a semifinal finish. Heading into the fourth race of the season Todd is excited about where his team is headed.
“We have only had three races but it seems like the season has been going on for a long time,” said Todd. “We are about to get real busy with back-to-back races and more races every month I like being at the track on a more consistent basis. Racing at zMAX Dragway is cool too because it is a great facility and the fans always turn out. We will also have some NASCAR guys in our pits this weekend which makes it extra special to show off what we do.”
With qualifying starting on Friday Todd will be eager to post a good time to roll into the two sessions on Saturday to set up a race day tune-up. In the two races this season where the DHL Camry Funny Car qualified in the top half it raced to at least the semifinals.
“(Crew chief) Todd Smith and Jon Oberhofer are doing a really good job when we get some good data at the beginning of the race,” said Todd. “Everyone wants to start strong but we have been very consistent so far this season. We will be racing under the lights on Friday night so I think we could see some killer numbers. This DHL Funny Car can definitely run low and that is what makes it so fun to drive especially when you have great conditions under the lights.”
2019 NHRA Carolina Four-Wide Nationals Highlights (event not contested in 2020): Qual. No. 8; Beat Bob Tasca III and Bob Gilbertson; Lost to Robert Hight and Shawn Langdon
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA Southern Nationals): Qual. No. 1; Beat Alexis DeJoria, bye; Lost to John Force
Career Stats: 238 events, 230 starts, 257 round wins, 19 wins, 36 finals, 13 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car: 86 events, 86 starts, 10 wins, 16 finals, 109 round wins, 4 No. 1 qualifiers
Gatornationals: WINNER; Qual. No. 6; Beat Blake Alexander, Tim Wilkerson, Cruz Pedregon and Robert Hight
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 9; Beat Cruz Pedregon and Jonnie Lindberg; Lost to Ron Capps and Bob Tasca III
Atlanta: Qual. No. 1; Beat Alexis DeJoria, bye; Lost to John Force
Kalitta Motorsports PR