J.R. Todd and his DHL Toyota team entered the second race of the season in Phoenix last weekend ready to pick up where they left off with a final round appearance in the season-opening race in Gainesville, Fla., but while things didn’t play out as planned, the 2018 NHRA Funny Car champion remains bullish on the new season. The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Season resumes March 31-April 2, 2023 at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.
After starting the season with that final round in Gainesville and leaving there second in points, Todd raced in the inaugural Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge in a rematch of the Gainesville semifinals. While qualifying didn’t happen as the team hoped, an excellent run in a first-round loss in Phoenix shows the potential this team has with a new car and a new setup.
“We just have to build on what we did in Gainesville and in the first round at Phoenix,” Todd said. “Since we unloaded this car, it’s been completely different from anything we’ve had in the last four or five years which is really encouraging. We have a new tune-up, a new car and a new mindset which is exciting. I think everybody’s really excited for the season. We just had a little hiccup in Phoenix, but it’s still really early in the season. We aren’t really counting points yet, but you still want to get as many as you can. Right now, we’re just focused on winning races. We’ll go to Pomona, try to win there and let the points fall where they may.
Todd has two wins in four final-round appearances at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip, and as the old saying goes, there’s no time like the present to add to those numbers.
“I like racing at Pomona – it’s the birthplace of drag racing pretty much, and Southern California has a cool vibe that I like,” Todd added. “Hopefully the conditions allow us to go out there and throw down. That place is always fast when conditions allow for it so there’s no reason it shouldn’t be when we get there.”
Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals
In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip, Pomona, Calif.
- Qualifying 1: 7-8:30:30 p.m. Saturday, April 1 on FS1
- Qualifying 2: 12:30-2 p.m. Sunday, April 2 on FS1
- Finals: 7-10 p.m. Sunday, April 2 on FS1
2022 NHRA Arizona Nationals Recap: Qualified eighth and lost to Alexis DeJoria in the first round.
J.R. Todd Career Stats: 280 events, 307 round wins, 19 wins, 42 final rounds, 14 No. 1 qualifiers
2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Results To Date:
Gainesville: Qualified sixth; defeated Blake Alexander, Robert Hight, Chad Green; lost to Matt Hagan in final.
Phoenix: Qualified eighth; lost to Alexis DeJoria in the first round
Current Point Standings: Todd leaves Phoenix seventh place in the NHRA Funny Car point standings. He trails sixth-place Bob Tasca by two points and leads eighth-place John Force by 24 points.
Kalitta Motorsports PR