J.R. Todd and DHL Funny Car Team Race to Quarterfinals in Sonoma

Gary Nastase Photography

J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car team battled through two days of qualifying at Sonoma Raceway. The 2018 NHRA Funny Car champion and 2017 NHRA Sonoma Nationals winner was looking to pick up his second Funny Car win and fourth nitro win overall at the beautiful track located in the heart of northern California wine country. Going into race day Todd was the No. 12 qualifier and faced the winningest Funny Car driver in history, John Force, the No. 5 qualifier.

This was the fourth meeting between the two Funny Car champion drivers. Todd defeated Force in the in their only other first round meeting earlier this season in Houston. Today it was again Todd getting the win in dramatic fashion. He took a slim starting line advantage and the drivers were side by side racing to the finish line stripe. Force began dropping cylinders and moving towards the wall while Todd kept his Camry Funny Car welded to the middle of the groove. The DHL Funny Car made its quickest run of the weekend and took the round win when Force clipped the wall before the finish line.

The victory moved Todd and the DHL Funny Car to the quarterfinals against Force’s teammate Robert Hight. For the eighth time in nine races Todd advanced out of the first round which is a category best record. Once again Todd took a slight starting line advantage with a quicker reaction time but in this race it was Hight who made a smooth run while Todd’s race car slowed from his strong first round elapsed time.

“We got a big win the first round and I thought we were set up for a long day,” said Todd. “We just need a little more consistency and we will be in a great position. We will be back in a few days racing in Pomona and I know there are things this DHL team learned this weekend that will help us at the Winternationals.”

The DHL Toyota Camry team and J.R. Todd are currently No. 6 in the NHRA Camping World point standings.

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 12 (4.055 sec., 319.37 mph)
Bonus points: 0

Race Details:

First Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH  
J.R. Todd                               12           .076        4.032     321.27 (W)
John Force                              5              .077        4.137     290.57

Second Round
Driver                                    Qual       R/T         ET           MPH  
J.R. Todd                                12           .072        4.060     296.70
Robert Hight                            4              .074        3.938     329.95 (W)   

 Kalitta Motorsports PR