The DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car and driver J.R. Todd are sitting in sixth place in the Funny Car point standings heading into this weekend’s NHRA Auto Club Finals. While a second championship is out of reach Todd knows he can play the role of spoiler and pick up a second win at the season finale race. During his championship season of 2018 Todd not only clinched the championship on the final day of the season he led his DHL Toyota team to victory. Winning the final race of the season this year will give the 10-time Funny Car national event winner confidence and momentum heading into 2023.
“You always want to win the last race of the season no matter where you are in the point standings,” said Todd. “There are sponsor appearances and shows over the winter and it is cool to be able to say you won your last race. Pomona is a cool track with so much history. Every driver wants to win there as much as possible.”
This season Todd has been breaking in a brand-new Toyota GR Supra Funny Car body and as the year has unfolded Todd has made impressive strides racing to the final round at the Northwest Nationals and consistently landing in the Top Five in points. The fact that there are 30 points per round available and Todd’s Funny Car has been running well in qualifying could give the driver who has national event wins in Top Fuel and Funny Car an edge to move up before the end of the season. Two weeks ago at the Nevada Nationals Todd secured his best qualifying position of the season, heading into race day as the No. 4 qualifier, and racing to the semifinals for the fourth time this season.
“We have all the pieces to win on Sunday there is no doubt about that,” said Todd. “We just need to get them all to line up on race day. Todd Smith and Jon Oberhofer have this DHL Toyota tuned up every race and I am doing my best behind the wheel. The new GR Supra body has been amazing and I know next season we will be in an even better place.”
Todd and the DHL Toyota team tested before the season started but every race was a new learning opportunity for the team. After every run engineers and crew members evaluated how the Funny Car performed making subtle adjustments. Thanks to the help and input from Toyota Gazoo Racing North America and Kalitta Motorsports sponsor Revchem Composites the new body is lighter and stronger giving Todd and his team an edge on the tuning side.
Todd’s racecar will once again be racing pink supporting DHL’s initiative to support breast cancer awareness in October and men’s health in November. Additionally, Todd along with the rest of Kalitta Motorsports will be hosting 75 veterans in their pits on Friday through a partnership with sponsor Clean Harbors. There will be a special piston presentation event between rounds on Friday. Saturday will wrap up with two more qualifying runs before final eliminations on Sunday.
2021 Auto Club Finals Highlights: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Bob Tasca III
Last Event Recap 2022 Nevada Nationals: Qual. 4; Beat Cruz Pedregon, John Force; Lost to Robert Hight
Career Stats: 276 events, 268 starts, 301 round wins, 19 wins, 41 finals, 14 No. 1 qualifiers; In Funny Car: 124 events, 124 starts, 10 wins, 21 finals, 152 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 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
Charlotte2: Qual. 6; Lost to Alexis DeJoria
St. Louis: Qual. 10; Beat Alexis DeJoria; Lost to John Force
Dallas: Qual. 7; Lost to Paul Lee
Las Vegas2: Qual. 4; Beat Cruz Pedregon, John Force; Lost to Robert Hight
Kalitta Motorsports PR