J.R. Todd and DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car Striving for Strong Finish at Pomona

photo by Auto Imagery, Inc.

The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car team and J.R. Todd have a mathematical chance at the 2021 NHRA championship but the odds are not in their favor. The Gatornationals winner could close out the season with a bookend win and come up most likely a few rounds short of his second title. In 2018 Todd raced to victory at the Auto Club Finals and clinched his first Funny Car championship and win this year would most likely give him a top three finish in one of the most competitive classes of the series.
“We hurt ourselves in Las Vegas, but we can still finish strong in Pomona,” said Todd. “This championship has been a battle between four or five drivers all season it seems. No one has really dominated. I am proud of everyone on this DHL Toyota Funny Car team because we fought hard all season and it is coming down the to the last race.”
The season-opening win at the historic Gatornationals kept Todd in the championship conversation all year. His runner-up finish at the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals combined with back-to-back runner-up finishes at the July Winternationals in Pomona and then Topeka were strong statements headed into the Countdown.
During the Countdown Todd kept his first round winning streak alive until two weeks ago in Las Vegas. An upset loss for the No. 3 qualifier in the first round was only the second time this season the DHL Toyota Camry did not advance to the quarterfinals. Over the six races so far of the Countdown Todd has a runner-up finish in Bristol and two semifinals finishes.
“Everyone knows you have to avoid first round losses in the Countdown, and we have avoided them almost the whole season,” said Todd. “This DHL Toyota has been one of the most consistent and quick race cars all season. I have to thank Todd Smith and Jon Oberhofer plus all these Yella Fellas for giving me a great race car every event. We are going to leave it all on the table in Pomona this weekend.”
2019 NHRA Auto Club Finals Highlights (event not contested in 2020): Qual. No. 10; Beat Tommy Johnson Jr.; Lost to Jack Beckman
Last Event Recap (2021 Las Vegas Nationals): Qual. No. 3; Lost to Paul Lee
Career Stats: 254 events, 246 starts, 281 round wins, 19 wins, 40 finals, 14 No. 1 qualifiers; In Funny Car: 102 events, 102 starts, 10 wins, 20 finals, 133 round wins, 5 No. 1 qualifiers
2021 Season: 
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
Indianapolis: Qual. No. 5; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
Reading: Qual. No. 7; Beat Alexis DeJoria, Cruz Pedregon; Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Charlotte2: Qual. No. 6; Beat Mike McIntire; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
St. Louis: Qual. No. 9; Beat Tim Wilkerson; Lost to Matt Hagan
Dallas: Qual. No. 8; Beat Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight; Lost to Matt Hagan
Bristol: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No. 12; Beat Matt Hagan, John Force, Ron Capps; Lost to Alexis DeJoria
Las Vegas2: Qual. No. 3; Lost to Paul Lee

Kalitta Motorsports PR 

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