J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car team were looking to add a Funny Car title to Todd’s resume today at the NHRA Mile-High Nationals from Bandimere Speedway. The 2018 Funny Car world champion had two Top Fuel wins and he was looking to become just the third driver in Mile-High Nationals history to win in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. The 19-time national event winner was also looking to make a run at sweeping the Western Swing with three wins in a row starting this weekend in Denver.
Last night during the final qualifying session Todd powered his Toyota Camry to the second quickest run of the session and picked up two qualifying bonus points. Todd entered race day as the No. 7 qualifier with lane choice over the Funny Car point leader Bob Tasca III.
In the opening round Todd pulled up beside Tasca as the duo was the last pair of Funny Cars in the first session. When the starting line Christmas Tree flashed amber Todd took off with a sizable starting line advantage and was pulling away from Tasca. As his race car was accelerating down track it made a quick move towards the center line after it dropped some cylinders on the right hand side. Todd worked the steering wheel to stay in his lane but his Funny Car crossed the center line forcing his run to be disqualified and handing the win to his opponent.
“You never want to lose a race like that but these cars are incredibly powerful,” said Todd. “I was doing everything I could to keep it straight. We have a great race car and this DHL team will be right back at it in Sonoma next weekend. We will put this race behind us.”
This was the first time this season that Todd did not advance to at least the quarterfinals. The DHL Funny Car team will head to the Sonoma Nationals sitting in the No. 4 position in points.
Qualified: No. 7 (4.055 sec., 314.90 mph)
Bonus points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q3)
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
J.R. Todd 7 .073 No Time
Bob Tasca III 8 .100 4.108 315.78 (W)
Kalitta Motorsports PR