Toyota Charlotte NHRA Preview
Concord, NC – Todd Continues Countdown Fight…J.R. Todd enters the final three races of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs in second place, just 50 points out of the lead. The red-hot Todd has registered an 11-2 win-loss record over the last four races. In Countdown competition, he’s advanced to the final round in two of three races, winning in Reading. His four victories on the season tie him for the series lead.
Todd Set To Double Rookie Totals…J.R. Todd has already doubled the number of wins he secured in his rookie season in Funny Car, going from two to four. Now with a first-round win at Charlotte, Todd would earn his 34th round win of the season, doubling the total of his Funny Car rookie season in 2017.
Pedregon Looks For Charlotte Sweep…After winning the Charlotte Four-Wides this spring, Cruz Pedregonwill attempt to complete the zMAX Dragway sweep this weekend. The two-time Funny Car world champion previously won the fall Charlotte event in 2010. Pedregon fell just short of qualifying for this year’s Countdown, but has registered round wins at each of the first three playoff races and has outscored five of the ten Countdown competitors.
Toyota Top Fuel Drivers Shine At Carolina Nationals…Toyota Top Fuel drivers have won seven of the last eight Carolina Nationals. Doug Kalitta is the defending champion after defeating teammate Richie Crampton in an all-Toyota showdown a year ago. In addition, Antron Brown earned victories in 2016, 2015 and 2011, while Morgan Lucas (2013), Shawn Langdon (2012) and Larry Dixon (2010) each took home top honors once.
J.R. Todd, DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car: “We lost some ground to the point leader in Dallas, but we distanced ourselves from the cars behind us. So we’ll battle it out over the next three races with Robert (Hight)mn bv. We still have a long ways to go, but we need to keep pace with Robert. It would have been nice to take some points away from him in the final, but we’re still within striking distance.”
Antron Brown, Matco Tools/Toyota Top Fuel dragster:“The key in Charlotte will be to start off strong in the first round of qualifying. That’s what sets up the whole race weekend. If you start off with a good first-round qualifying run, then you can build off that and get better every run. For us, we’ve been missing that. If you start up behind the eight ball, then you go out Friday night and you can’t do what you want to do. You can’t cue it up and go for that number one spot, you’re forced to focus on just getting a good quality run that can put you in the top half of the field. If you can get that quality run in the first round, then the whole team can get in sync moving forward instead of playing catch-up and that’s what wins you races like we did in Seattle.”