J.R. Todd Races to Quarterfinals at New England Nationals

photo by Auto Imagery, Inc.

The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car and driver J.R. Todd were pursuing their second victory of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season as the rolled into the NHRA New England Nationals. Their season opening win at the Gatornationals was also bolstered by a runner-up finish at the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals had Todd sitting in the No. 2 position in the Funny Car point standings.

Over two days of qualifying Todd moved into race day as the No. 9 qualifier even though he started the qualifying sessions with one of the strongest runs of Friday. The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car blasted to the No. 2 position on Friday and picked up two qualifying bonus points. Conditions changed on Saturday and the DHL team worked to find a solid race day tune-up.

When racing commenced today Todd and the DHL team were facing a tough first round race against veteran Cruz Pedregon. It was a great race for Todd as he chased down Pedregon for the round win in an incredibly close race. Todd used every inch of the race track to get the victory grabbing the win light by two inches at over 320 mph.

In the quarterfinals Todd drew John Force for the second race in a row. The 2018 Funny Car world champion had lane choice and was looking to race to another semifinal in 2021. Todd grabbed a starting line advantage with a superior reaction time. As the race cars approached half-track Force was able to drive around Todd for the win. At the finish line Todd was just a little over a car length behind Force.

“We have a really good car and it is going down the track consistently,” said Todd. “We are just a tick behind where we need to be.  We got outrun there in the second round but we are going to keep fighting”

Todd will head to the next race just over two rounds out of first place. The DHL Toyota Camry team sits No. 3 in the Camping World Drag Racing Series.

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 9 (3.976 sec., 324.05 mph)
Bonus points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q1)

Race Details:

First Round
Driver                                    Qual        R/T         ET           MPH  
J.R. Todd                              9              .085        3.994     322.88 (W)
Cruz Pedregon                      8              .052        4.027     321.73

Second Round
Driver                                    Qual         R/T         ET           MPH  
J.R. Todd                              9              .067        4.006     319.98
John Force                             3              .085        3.957     329.18 (W)

Kalitta Motorsports PR