Last year J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Funny Car team had a nearly perfect race at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka. They qualified No. 1 and raced to the final round before dropping a close race to end the day. It was Todd’s 5th Funny Car No. 1 and 14th of his career. This season Todd is bringing momentum to the Midwest on the heels of a runner-up finish at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle two weeks ago. His DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car which the team unveiled at the beginning of the season is showing the promise of being a championship contender.
“Last weekend we dropped a close race and I know we have a car and team that can win races,” said Todd. “I am looking forward to getting back to Topeka because last year we came really close to getting that win.”
Todd has also reached the final round in Top Fuel dragster when he was just getting his professional career started. The ability and experience of racing at highest level of NHRA in two of the most challenging classes give Todd a unique skill set. He is part of an exclusive fraternity of drivers who have won in both categories.
“I am lucky that I have been able to race in Top Fuel and Funny Car,” said Todd. “I grew up racing junior dragsters and I got my Top Fuel license right after high school. The experience in Top Fuel was great but I love driving this DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car. It is a handful for sure. This weekend will be a challenge because of the heat, but it will be hot for everyone.”
Todd’s consistency this season has him sitting in sixth place in the point standings. He has recorded three semifinal finishes and three quarterfinal finishes leading up to Seattle’s runner-up. He is less than 90 points out of fifth place with three races left in the regular season. A strong showing in Topeka, Brainerd, Minn., and Indianapolis could position Todd for a strong run at a second Funny Car championship.
“This is the time of the season when you want to start really performing well,” said Todd. “If you can go into the Countdown fourth or fifth in the points you are in a great spot. We are working to get as high up in the points as possible. These DHL guys have been great all season and we just need to keep the pressure on all the other teams.”
2021 NHRA Topeka Nationals Highlights: Qual. No.1, RUNNER-UP; Beat bye, Ron Capps, Blake Alexander; Lost to John Force
Last Event Recap 2022 Northwest Nationals: Qual. 7; RUNNER-UP; Beat Blake Alexander, Bob Tasca III, bye; Lost to Robert Hight
Career Stats: 268 events, 260 starts, 295 round wins, 19 wins, 41 finals, 14 No. 1 qualifiers; In Funny Car: 116 events, 116 starts, 10 wins, 21 finals, 147 round wins, 5 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. 8; Beat Bobby Bode; Lost to Ron Capps
Arizona Nationals: Qual. 8; Lost to Alexis DeJoria
Gatornationals: Qual. 11; Lost to Blake Alexander
Las Vegas1: Qual. 9; Beat Tim Wilkerson and Jason Rupert; Lost to Ron Capps and Matt Hagan
Houston: Qual. 13; Beat Bob Tasca III, Jim Campbell; Lost to Matt Hagan
Charlotte1: Qual. 6; Beat Dale Creasy Jr, Chad Green; Lost to Ron Capps, Mike McIntire
Richmond: Qual. 5; Lost to John Force
Epping: Qual. 10; Beat Blake Alexander, Cruz Pedregon; Lost to Matt Hagan
Bristol: Qual. 11; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
Norwalk: Qual. 7; Beat Blake Alexander, John Force; Lost to Robert Hight
Denver: Qual. 6; Beat Cruz Pedregon; Lost to John Force
Sonoma: Qual. 10; Beat Tim Wilkerson; Lost to John Force
Seattle: Qual. 7; RUNNER-UP; Beat Blake Alexander, Bob Tasca III, bye; Lost to Robert Hight
Kalitta Motorsports PR