No. 2 in Points J.R. Todd Looking for Second 2021 Win
Epping, NH – When J.R. Todd and the DHL Toyota Camry rolled into New England Dragway in 2019 they established themselves as the quickest Funny Car on the property running to the No. 1 qualifier position. This year, almost two years later Todd will be looking to add New England Nationals event winner to his resume. The 2018 NHRA Funny Car world champion, who is currently No. 2 in the Camping World Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings, is looking to add his second win of the season this weekend.
“We have gotten off to a great start with this DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car,” said Todd, following a quarterfinal finish at the SpringNationals in Houston. “We won the first race of the season at the Gatornationals and followed that up with a semifinal finish in Atlanta and a runner-up in Charlotte at the Four-Wide Nationals. I feel really good about how well the team is working together and the kind of performance we are bringing to the races.”
Todd has only started one race from outside the top half of the field this season when he was the No. 9 qualifier in Las Vegas. He still managed to make a run to the second round of that event. So far he has collected three top six qualifiers including the No. 1 qualifier at the final Southern Nationals in Atlanta.
“We have been coming right out of the trailer with a good race car thanks to Todd Smith and Jon Oberhofer, my crew chiefs,” said Todd. “That just gives you a lot of confidence when you make that first run and get a good number. We have been able to get some of those small qualifying bonus points and also just get right up at the top of the ladder.”
Todd, who is closing in on 100 career races behind the wheel of his DHL Toyota Camry, is constantly working to improve as a driver. The Lawrenceburg, Indiana, native spends time between races working on his physical fitness and reaction time reflexes at PitFit, a specialty fitness center, frequented by a variety of motorsports veterans from IndyCar and NHRA.
“These race cars are so unpredictable you have to be prepared for anything when they take off from the starting line,” said Todd. “I try and get in as many sessions as possible at PitFit between the races and I really feel like it makes a difference. I am also really focusing on limiting distractions and doing the same routine every time I get inside this DHL Funny Car. All the little things add up to the difference between winning and losing a race.”
Todd will be seeking Funny Car win No. 11 this weekend when qualifying gets underway on Friday night. The race will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sunday beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.
2019 NHRA New England Nationals Highlights (event not contested in 2020): Qual. No. 1; Beat Bye; Lost to Tim Wilkerson
Last Event Recap (2021 NHRA SpringNationals): Qual. No. 8; Beat John Force; Lost to Bob Tasca III
Career Stats: 240 events, 232 starts, 260 round wins, 19 wins, 37 finals, 13 No. 1 qualifiers; in Funny Car: 88 events, 88 starts, 10 wins, 17 finals, 112 round wins, 4 No. 1 qualifiers
Gatornationals: WINNER; Qual. No. 6; Beat Blake Alexander, Tim Wilkerson, Cruz Pedregon and Robert Hight
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 9; Beat Cruz Pedregon and Jonnie Lindberg; Lost to Ron Capps and Bob Tasca III
Atlanta: Qual. No. 1; Beat Alexis DeJoria, bye; Lost to John Force
Charlotte1: RUNNER-UP; Qual. No.4; Beat Terry Haddock, Jim Campbell, Tim Wilkerson; Beat Mike McIntire, Terry Haddock; Lost to John Force, Beat Cruz Pedregon, Alexis DeJoria
Houston: Qual. No. 8; Beat John Force; Lost to Bob Tasca III