SONOMA, Calif. (July 30, 2023) – Welcome back to the winners circle J.R. Todd!
Recently, Todd and his DHL Toyota crew have not looked like a team that is seeking their first win in more than two years. Coming off a runner-up finish a week ago in Seattle, Todd won Saturday’s Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge and then returned on Sunday to win for the 20th time in his career when he posted a 3.972 to hold off Green’s 4.039.
“I feel like it’s been a long road to get here,” said Todd. “We started the year with a new combination and I think it might have been a bit of dumb luck that we did so well in Gainesville. Then we had trouble in Pomona [a two-car accident] and that was a big setback. Todd [Smith, crew chief] said it would take a while to get it all sorted out and now I feel like he and Jon [Oberhofer] have a handle on it.
“I’ve said this all along but I think Funny Car is the toughest class from top to bottom,” Todd said. “We really need to work on our qualifying because when you are around seven to ten, it sets you up to be one of the first pairs and you’ve got a quick turnaround. Guys like Matt Hagan and Ron Capps have set the bar pretty high so when you get a chance, you’ve got to take advantage of it. You go two-plus years without a win and you wonder if you’re ever going to win again.”
Todd was remarkably consistent with four runs between 3.95 and 3.98 during eliminations as he topped Blake Alexander, low qualifier Bob Tasca III, and three-time champ Matt Hagan to get to the final.
As for Green, he’s clearly on the fast track to becoming NHRA’s next first-time pro winner with a tremendous 2023 season that already includes seven semifinals and now a final round in Sonoma. Green topped Cruz Pedregon, Paul Lee, and Ron Capps to get to the final round.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season continues with the Menards NHRA Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas August 11-13.
Content: NHRA | Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
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