Houston Success on Horizon for J.R. Todd and DHL Camry Funny Car
Houston, TX – This weekend’s NHRA Spring Nationals sees the return of J.R. Todd to a track where he has done something only two other racers in Houston Raceway Park history have accomplished. Todd along with Mike Dunn and Del Worsham are the only three racers to have won the Spring Nationals in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. In a matter of days Todd and his DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car will be looking to add a second Funny Car title to his trophy case and also continue to climb the NHRA Camping World Funny Car standings with two races remaining in the season.
“It is cool to be able to say you have done something only a couple other racers have done at a track that has as much history as Houston Raceway Park,” said Todd. “Guys like Mike Dunn and Del (Worsham) are Hall of Fame drivers so you want to be on lists with those guys. I really just want to get another win here because we have been grinding all season and we want to get four win lights on Sunday.”
Since 2014 Todd has won at least one NHRA national event and the 2018 Funny Car champion definitely wants to keep that streak alive. The DHL Camry Funny Car has two runner-up finishes including a close race at the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day weekend. As a nine-time Funny Car winner Todd would love to get that tenth win in Houston.
“We came close in back to back weekends racing in Indianapolis,” said Todd. “I really wanted another win at the U.S. Nationals. You get so close those are the tough ones to get over. You have to put it behind you and move on. These last two races are important and we want to get some wins.”
It was two years ago when Todd took his lone Houston Funny Car win over Robert Hight and eleven years before that he was winning in Top Fuel over Joe Hartley. The progression of Todd’s career has not been a straight rise to fame and fortune. In the latest edition of Drag Racing Edge magazine Todd talks about how his career had a number of starts and stops which he feels only makes him a more aware driver.
“I had a lot of people help me along the way. I got a chance to drive for Dexter Tuttle and that put me on the map,” said Todd. “Drivers put in a good word for me along the way and I kept busy as a crew guy doing whatever needed to be done. I can’t thank Connie Kalitta enough for calling me and getting me back in a dragster and then giving me the opportunity to win a Funny Car championship in Scott’s Funny Car. I have been very fortunate.”
Last Event Recap (2020 NHRA FallNationals): Qual. No. 8; Beat Paul Lee; Lost to Matt Hagan
2019 NHRA Spring Nationals Recap: Qual. No. 4; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Robert Hight
Quotable: J.R. Todd on final two races: “I feel really good about these last two races. They are at tracks where I have had success. This DHL Toyota Camry team isn’t about to throw in the towel. This weekend we are going to be aggressive during qualifying and then race smart on Sunday. We’ll take it one run at a time.”
Career Stats: 233 events, 225 starts, 248 round wins, 18 wins, 35 finals, 12 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car 81 events, 81 starts, 9 wins, 15 finals, 100 round wins, 3 No. 1 qualifiers
Winternationals: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Time Wilkerson
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Ron Capps
Indy1 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 4; Beat Alex Miladinovich, Alexis DeJoria; Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Indy2 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 5; Beat Jim Campbell; Lost to Matt Hagan
Indy3 NHRA Nationals: Qual. No. 5; RUNNER-UP; Beat Mike McIntire, Cruz Pedregon, Paul Lee; Lost to Ron Capps
U.S. Nationals: Qual. No. 8; RUNNER-UP; Beat Blake Alexander, Dale Creasy Jr., and Matt Hagan; Lost to Jack Beckman
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 7; Lost to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Midwest Nationals: Qual. No. 7; Beat Tim Wilkerson; Lost to Alexis DeJoria
FallNationals: Qual. No. 8; Beat Paul Lee; Lost to Matt Hagan