J.R. Todd Wraps Up Regular Season with U.S. Nationals Quarterfinal Finish

photo by Auto Imagery, Inc.

Looking for his third NHRA U.S. Nationals Funny Car title J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car came into Indianapolis Raceway Park with confidence and determination. The team took one qualifying run on Friday before the second and third sessions were washed away by and extended rainstorm on Saturday. His lone run added up to a 3.905 second, 326.63 mph run which was the fifth quickest of the class and paired him with veteran Jim Campbell in the first round.

In a wild race that harkened back to a round win in Sonoma and this year’s final round win at the Gatornationals Todd stole a win light after his DHL Toyota Funny Car overpowered the racetrack. At the hit of the throttle Todd leapt off the starting line first but he immediately had his hands full settling his tire smoking Funny Car down. Campbell, in the lane beside him, sped down his lane but Todd regained control and began tracking him down as he ran into his own issues and lost power just past half-track. Todd flew past Campbell at the finish line for another round win at Indianapolis.

In the quarterfinals Todd matched up with two-time Funny Car champion and No. 4 qualifier Cruz Pedegron. The Funny Cars each executed their burn outs and as Todd was attempting to stage he had to man-handle his Funny Car into the beams. He grabbed a tremendous starting line advantage with a .059 reaction time and he was charging towards the finish line.  Unfortunately, he drove into tire smoke and that opened the door for Pedregon to drive around just before the finish line.

“Definitely not the day we wanted here at Indy,” said Todd. “It’s the biggest race of the year and you’ve got high hopes. We have run really well here in the past, but all in all, it could have been worse. From here on out, it’s all about winning races. We’ve got seven races to go out there and run as hard as we can and get as many round wins as we can. We’re in the hunt and our DHL Toyota and this Kalitta Motorsports team is capable of winning a championship. That’s our goal.”

Todd will enter the 2021 NHRA Countdown as the No. 4 Funny Car. He will have 2,060 points and will be 40 points out of the lead. The next event in Reading, Pennsylvania will be the first of seven play-off races.

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 5 (3.905 sec, 326.63 mph)
Bonus points: 0

Race Details:

First Round
Driver                                  Qual       R/T         ET           MPH  
J.R. Todd                            5             .064       6.401     292.58 (W)
Jim Campbell                     12           .112       8.388     74.06

Second Round
Driver                                  Qual       R/T         ET           MPH  
J.R. Todd                            5             .059       4.328     224.36   
Cruz Pedregon                    4             .132       3.920     324.20 (W)

Kalitta Motorsports PR