J.R. Todd Races to Nevada Nationals Semifinals

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J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car came into the NHRA Nevada Nationals looking to recapture their winning ways at the track located 20 minutes north of sin city. After four rounds of qualifying Todd entered race day as the No. 4 qualifier, his best starting performance of the season, and picked up two qualifying bonus points along the way. His qualifying run in the second session was the second quickest run and set the team up with a tune-up they could work with on race day.

Todd’s first round match up against two-time world champion Cruz Pedregon was a tough draw for a top four qualifier. Todd and his pink DHL Toyota Funny Car were up to the task outrunning Pedregon with a 3.944 second pass at 328.54 mph. Todd was first off the line with a .058 reaction time and the 2018 Funny Car world champion never trailed in the race.

The quarterfinal race against 16-time world champion John Force was the chance for Todd to avenge several early season losses. The DHL team led by crew chiefs Todd Smith and Jon Oberhofer laid down a huge run to grab the round win lighting up the scoreboard with a 3.889 second run at 329.83 mph. Todd’s 3.889 second run was the quickest of the session and turned out to be the second quickest run of race day. Both round wins contributed to the Feeding America program with an additional 80,000 meals to the national organization working to end food instability across the country.

After the two win lights Todd faced No. 1 qualifier Robert Hight in the semifinals and in another close race Todd’s DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car was up to the task posting another strong run, a 3.989 second pass at 324.05 mph. Unfortunately, as good as Todd’s run was Hight was able to make a slightly quicker pass, 3.878 seconds, to end Todd’s race day with the quickest run of race day. Neither driver was stellar on the starting line when the tree fired and they were side-by-side as they raced down The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I’m really proud of the effort the guys put forth this weekend. I’m mad at myself for the semifinals,” said Todd, at the end of the day. “Rounds like that, late in the day – you have to be on your game on the starting line. I can be way better than that. I messed up on my part, but at the end of the day, we’ve got a good DHL Toyota heading into Pomona. It would be nice to close the season with a win for sure.”

The Auto Club Finals, November 11-13, will be Todd’s next chance to secure a win to close out the 2022 NHRA season.

Qualified: No. 4 (3.870 sec, 333.33 mph)
Bonus points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q2)

Race Details:

First Round
Qual    Driver                                                  RT        ET        MPH
4          J.R. Todd                                             .058     3.944   328.54 (W)                                          
13        Cruz Pedregon                                    .115     3.992   281.54

Second Round
Qual    Driver                                                  RT        ET        MPH
4          J.R. Todd                                             .068     3.889   329.83 (W)
5          John Force                                          .036     3.957   328.06

Qual    Driver                                                  RT        ET        MPH
4          J.R. Todd                                             .082     3.898   324.05
1          Robert Hight                                       .086     3.878   330.15 (W)

Kalitta Motorsports PR

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