J.R. Todd and DHL Chasing Momentum Heading into Carolina Nationals

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Last weekend’s quarterfinal finish by J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car team has motivated the 2018 Funny Car world champion as the playoffs move to zMax Dragway just north of Charlotte. At the end of the Western Swing in July Todd raced to a runner-up finish at the Northwest Nationals in Seattle giving the team a boost as the regular season wound to a close. Over the past eight races Todd has advanced out to the first round seven times and the veteran driver who has competed in Top Fuel and Funny Car at the Betway Carolina Nationals knows consistency is the key for another championship run.
“You have to start winning rounds early in the Countdown,” said Todd. “You can have a slip up, but you can’t make a huge mistake. Early exits will make winning the championship almost impossible. We are in a decent position to make a move with a good weekend in Charlotte. I have a great DHL team behind me and I have won rounds here. We just need to put a good race day together this Sunday.”
Last year Todd was the runner-up at the spring Four-Wide Nationals and during his championship season of 2018 his runner-up finish at the Betway Carolina Nationals sustained his momentum that put the title trophy in his hands at the end of the season. In 2015 he qualified No. 1 in Top Fuel and raced to another runner-up finish at the fall national event. Having the experience in both nitro classes is an asset that Todd and few others bring to the table.
“I think my Top Fuel experience helps but driving this DHL Toyota Supra is nothing like a Top Fuel dragster,” said Todd. “This Funny Car keeps you on your toes. We are generating so much power and you really have to drive it to keep it hooked up. Both nitro classes are very tough, but I love racing this Toyota Funny Car.”
This weekend Todd and his Kalitta Motorsports teammates will be racing with a purpose as they start a four race stretch supporting Feeding America along with marketing partner DHL. For every win light Todd or his other two teammates turn on Sunday in eliminations Kalitta Motorsports will donate 10,000 meals to Feeding America and DHL will match that donation with another 10,000 meals. A win on Sunday would mean Todd and his DHL team donated 80,000 meals to families struggling with food insecurity. The four races Todd and Kalitta Motorsports will be supporting Feeding America include this weekend, St Louis’ Midwest Nationals, the Texas Fall Nationals in Dallas and the penultimate NHRA national event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas.
“DHL is a great company to represent because they love motorsports and they are also very active in supporting great causes,” said Todd. “We are helping Feeding America in September and then in October we will have a pink Toyota Supra to support breast cancer awareness. Racing is important but so is giving back and supporting other people.”
Todd is battling one of the toughest Funny Car fields in recent history. His DHL team has been in the middle of the fray all season and now with five races left they are sitting 130 points behind the point leader. Every race 100 points are on the line with points and a half available at the season finale in Pomona. The road to the championship will be tough but it is not impossible for Todd and his experienced DHL team.
“We have a lot of points to make up, but we are not going to give up,” said Todd. “This is a tough experienced team. My crew chiefs Todd Smith and Jon Oberhofer have a great handle on our tune-up. Like everyone we need a couple breaks to go our way and we need to perform like champions. We have done this before and it will be exciting.”
Friday night Todd and the DHL Toyota Funny Car team will hit the track for the first time and then Saturday they will get two opportunities to earn some valuable qualifying bonus points. Sunday’s race will begin at noon ET with Top Fuel then Funny Car starting four rounds of eliminations. FS1 will broadcast the race nationally beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
2021 Betway Carolina Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 6; Beat Mike McIntire; Lost to Cruz Pedregon
Last Event Recap 2022 Pep Boys Nationals: Qual. 6; Beat Chad Green; Lost to John Force
Career Stats: 272 events, 264 starts, 298 round wins, 19 wins, 41 finals, 14 No. 1 qualifiers; In Funny Car: 120 events, 120 starts, 10 wins, 21 finals, 150 round wins, 5 No. 1 qualifiers
2022 Results
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 Qual. 7; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Robert Hight 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
Topeka: Qual. 8; Lost to Alexis DeJoria
Brainerd: Qual. 7; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Robert Hight
Indianapolis: Qual. 8; Beat Cruz Pedregon; Lost to Ron Capps
Reading: Qual. 6; Beat Chad Green; Lost to John Force

Kalitta Motorsports PR

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