Toyota NHRA Toyota Nationals Preview
Todd Eyes Vegas Sweep…J.R. Todd will be looking to finish off a 2018 sweep at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend after winning the inaugural Four-Wides at the track this spring. A second win at the track also would likely propel him into the Funny Car championship lead heading into the season finale at Pomona. The DHL Camry driver enters the Toyota Nationals just 11 points out of the top spot after advancing to the finals at three of the four Countdown to the Championship playoff races, including a win at Reading. He has scored more points than any other Funny Car driver during the Countdown with a 12-3 won-loss record. For the season, Todd has earned four wins and amassed 36 round wins – more than doubling the total of his rookie season in a Funny Car in 2017.
Toyota Drivers Hit Jackpot In Vegas…Nine different Toyota-sponsored drivers have combined to win 14 races at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – with eight of those coming in Top Fuel and six coming in Funny Car. The most recent was by Todd earlier this year in the Four-Wide Nationals. Antron Brown leads the way with four wins at The Strip (Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Fall 2013, Spring 2011). Four more Top Fuel drivers have won at the track with Doug Kalitta (Fall of 2015), Richie Crampton (Spring 2015), Del Worsham (Fall 2011) and Larry Dixon (Spring 2010), while Todd, Cruz Pedregon (Spring 2013, Fall 2008), Alexis DeJoria (Spring 2016, Spring 2014) and Worsham (Fall 2014) have won in Funny Car.
Pedregon Finding His Groove…Cruz Pedregon may not be a participant in this year’s Countdown to the Championship playoffs, but his Snap-on Camry has raced like he’s competing for a title. He registered four runs of 3.94 or lower at Charlotte. In addition, he’s registered round wins at each of the first four playoff races and has outscored four of the ten Countdown competitors.
J.R. Todd, DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car: “The consistency of the DHL/Wix Filters Toyota has just seemed to come around at the right time. I’ve never really been in this position, but I’m really enjoying it. We’re just taking it one round at a time. Hopefully, we can carry that into the last two races. If we can go to the next two finals, I like our chances.”
Antron Brown, Matco Tools/Toyota Top Fuel dragster:“When I go to Las Vegas at The Strip, it’s like a winner-take-all type of feel. The stakes are big. It’s the second-to-last race of the year. We want to show up and get another win before the season is over. We want to close out the season strong. That’s what motivates us. We want to go out there and do it at the Toyota Nationals. We basically go in with the tag line, ‘Let’s Go Places’ and the place we want to go is the Winner’s Circle.”