Another final round appearance jumped J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car team into third place and firmly into the battle for the regular season Funny Car title. Todd is less than two rounds out of first with two races before the start of the Countdown. This weekend’s NHRA Brainerd Nationals will be another chance for the DHL Toyota team to continue their success on the track and put more distance between the 2018 Funny Car champion and the rest of their Funny Car competitors.
“There isn’t much separation between the Funny Cars at the top of the points that’s for sure,” said Todd. “This DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car has had two good races in a row and we just need that one last win light. We have been close in both of the last two final rounds. I have a lot of confidence in these Yella Fellas that’s for sure.”
The first win at Brainerd International Raceway is still on the horizon for Todd but the recent success has the 10-time Funny Car winner eager to get to the racetrack. Before he hits the track Todd along with his Kalitta Motorsports teammate Shawn Langdon will spend time with new sponsors Auto Value along with long-time sponsor MAHLE fishing before the sponsor representatives enjoy the weekend in the Kalitta Motorsports VIP hospitality area.
“We have been supported by MAHLE for a while and we are excited to meet the folks from Auto Value this weekend,” said Todd. “They are one all three of the cars just for this race and hopefully we can get them into the winner’s circle.”
The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car started the season with a victory at the NHRA Gatornationals and has added three more runner-up finishes. They have only failed to advance to the quarterfinals a category leading one time. That consistency can be attributed to their strong qualifying performances and Todd’s solid work on the starting line. Last weekend in Topeka Todd started from the top of the field on the strength of a 3.88 second run on Friday night. It was his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and fifth of his Funny Car career. This season he has only started from the bottom half of the field on three occasions with two of those races slotting him in the No. 9 spot.
“We have been taking advantage of some good qualifying efforts for sure,” said Todd. “I feel like we are running quick enough and (crew chiefs) Todd Smith and Jon Oberhofer have a good handle on the car that we are run with anyone.”
2019 NHRA Brainerd Nationals Highlights (event not contested in 2020): Qual. No. 10; Lost to Ron Capps
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA Topeka Nationals): RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 1; Beat Bye, Ron Capps, Blake Alexander; Lost to John Force
Career Stats: 246 events, 238 starts, 269 round wins, 19 wins, 39 finals, 14 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car: 94 events, 94 starts, 10 wins, 19 finals, 121 round wins, 5 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
Charlotte1: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No.4; Beat Terry Haddock, Jim Campbell, Tim Wilkerson; Beat Mike McIntire, Terry Haddock; Lost to John Force, Beat Cruz Pedregon, Alexis DeJoria
Houston: Qual. No. 8; Beat John Force; Lost to Bob Tasca III
Epping: Qual. No. 9; Beat Cruz Pedregon, Lost to John Force
Norwalk: Qual. No. 9; Beat Mike McIntire, Lost to Ron Capps
Denver: Qual. No. 7; Lost to Bob Tasca III
Sonoma: Qual. No. 12; Beat John Force; Lost to Robert Hight
Pomona1: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 7; Beat Jeff Diehl, Robert Hight, Jim Campbell; Lost to Ron Capps
Topeka: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 1; Beat Bye, Ron Capps, Blake Alexander; Lost to John Force
Kalitta Motorsports PR