Thunder Valley Victory Eludes J.R. Todd and DHL Funny Car

photo by Auto Imagery, Inc. NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

The DHL Toyota GR Supra team and driver J.R. Todd were looking to chase down one more win light on race day on the heels of their runner-up finish in 2021. Last year in the fall Todd lost a close race to Toyota teammate Alexis DeJoria and this weekend the 2018 Funny Car world champion was looking to secure four win lights. Two tough days of qualifying on a tricky track had the DHL Toyota Funny Car team headed into race day as the No. 11 qualifier.

In the opening round Todd faced multi-time champion Cruz Pedregon in a tough first round match-up. In one of the closest races in the first round of Funny Car Todd dropped a close race with his quickest run of the weekend. Todd and his DHL Toyota team stepped up and posted a 4.168 second pass but it wasn’t enough for Pedregon’s slightly quicker 4.148 second run.

“We just got a little behind the eight ball in qualifying,” said Todd. “That first round run was solid and we just lost a close drag race. There were a lot of close races today and I am looking forward to getting to Norwalk. I know that first round pass is something we can build on.”

Two weeks ago Todd raced to the semifinals and his solid run in the first round gives the 10-time Funny Car national event winner confidence going into the summer races.

“We are just past the halfway point of the regular season and we are sixth in the points I think. The guys in front of us are within a few rounds. We can get on a roll in Norwalk and the Western Swing and we in a great spot.”

The Norwalk Nationals will get underway on Friday, June 24, with two qualifying sessions at Summit Motorsports Park.

Qualified: No. 11 (4.390 sec., 222.51 mph)
Bonus points: 0

Race Details:

First Round
Qual    Driver                                                  RT        ET        MPH
11        J.R. Todd                                             .062     4.168   283.25
6          Cruz Pedregon                                    .049     4.148   302.89 (W)

Kalitta Motorsports PR

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