For J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car team the NHRA U.S. Nationals is an event they look forward to every year. Since Todd took over the driving duties of the 11,000 horsepower Toyota Funny Car the team has racked up a 13-2 winning record over the past four years at the biggest race of the season. Back-to-back wins in 2017 and 2018 culminated in a Funny Car world championship two years ago and last season Todd raced to his third final round in four appearances.
“I have had some great races at the U.S. Nationals for sure,” said Todd, who is currently tied for second place in the Funny Car point standings. “We jump started our championship run by winning this race in 2018 and we dropped a close race last year. This year I feel like we are peaking at the right time, and we could have another really good race in Indy.”
Over the last three races Todd and his DHL Toyota Funny Car have raced to two final rounds and a semifinal finish to move from sixth to second place in a tight Funny Car point battle. Less than a round of race separates Todd from the top spot and the No. 1 seed going into the NHRA Countdown playoffs.
“It would be great to have the No. 1 seed in the Countdown, but I am more excited about having a quick and fast race car,” said Todd. “We have been running really well especially at Pomona and Topeka. We ran good in Brainerd too we just fell off a little in that semifinal. We stayed and tested after the Brainerd race, and I am ready to go for the U.S. Nationals.”
Todd has had one of the top Funny Cars all season going back to his season opening win at the Gatornationals. He grabbed a runner-up finish at the four-wide race in Charlotte before staying hot throughout the regular season. The 2018 Funny Car champion has only one first round loss all season which is a category best statistic and has been instrumental in the team’s success this season.
“We have made the most of qualifying at just about every race and that has helped us on race day in my opinion,” said Todd. “My crew chiefs Todd Smith and Jon Oberhofer have a great handle on the tune-up, and we are looking forward to getting back on the track in Indy.”
2020 NHRA U.S. Nationals Highlights: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 8; Beat Blake Alexander, Dale Creasy Jr., Matt Hagan; Lost to Jack Beckman
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA Brainerd Nationals): Qual. No. 11; Beat Robert Hight, Tim Wilkerson; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
Career Stats: 247 events, 239 starts, 271 round wins, 19 wins, 39 finals, 14 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car: 95 events, 95 starts, 10 wins, 19 finals, 123 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
Brainerd: Qual. No. 11; Beat Robert Hight, Tim Wilkerson; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
Kalitta Motorsports PR