Toyota NHRA Finals Preview
Pomona, CA – Todd Looks For First Title…J.R. Toddwill be looking to secure his first NHRA Funny Car World Championship this weekend in Pomona. After winning the most recent event at the Toyota Nationals, he enters the weekend with a 74-point lead, the equivalent of just over two rounds. If Todd captures the title, he would become the first African-American driver to win a Funny Car title and just the second to win a major U.S. auto racing championship, joining fellow Toyota driver Antron Brown. He also would be the second DHL Camry driver to win a Funny Car title in the last four years, joining Del Worsham who won the title for Kalitta Motorsports in 2015.
Todd By The Numbers…Todd has earned two victories and advanced to four final rounds in the first five Countdown to the Championship events. He also has compiled a 16-3 round win-loss record during the playoffs. For the season, Todd leads all Funny Car drivers in wins (five) and round wins (40) and has advanced to the semi-finals or beyond 12 times – also a series high.
Kalitta Tries to Sweep Pomona…After winning the Winternationals at Pomona in February, Doug Kalitta will try to sweep the year’s events at the track this weekend. In addition, he won the Pomona Finals in 2016 and the Winternationals in 2009.
Toyota Drivers Shine in Southern California Sun…Toyota supported drivers have won at Pomona 18 times, including 14 victories in the last 18 Top Fuel races. In addition, Toyota Funny Car drivers have won four times, including the manufacturer’s first-ever NHRA triumph by Jerry Tolliver in 2004.
J.R. Todd, DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car: “Our crew chiefs Jon Oberhofer and Todd Smith felt like they needed to get aggressive with the tune-up at Brainerd and it went 3.97 against Tommy Johnson. They learned from that and carried it into the Indy test where we made some really good runs. We knew going into Indy that we had our hot rod back and it showed when we ran well there in qualifying and on race day. We haven’t let up since then. It’s really about being consistent. We’re racing smart, not overthinking or over doing things. If you ask me, going into the Finals you don’t change a thing. I’m not going to change the way I drive and I don’t think that Jon O. or Todd are going to change the way they are running the car, Step one is getting qualified there in Pomona and try to put it in the top half. Then we take it one round at a time.”