J.R. Todd Wins Back-To-Back US Nationals

Lawrenceburg's favorite NHRA driver won again at the world's biggest drag racing event.

(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Lawrenceburg native J.R. Todd didn’t mind having to work on Labor Day, as it ended in he and his race team capturing their second consecutive NHRA Funny Car victory at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.

The win came at the world’s biggest drag race came at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, where Todd now lives.

“I’m really thankful to be able to come out and race for a living,” Todd said after the victory. “I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy throughout an entire weekend at a national event.”

Todd had the dominant car through the race weekend. In the final heat, J.R. and Kalitta Motorsports’ DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car sped to a 4.062-second pass at 311.70 MPH to finish ahead of Matt Hagan’s Mopar Express Lane Dodge Hellcat SRT at 4.141 seconds at 300.60 MPH.

Todd is the first Funny Car driver to win back-to-back U.S. Nationals since Mike Neff did it in 2011 and 2012.

“From day one, I felt like we could come out here and win. In Brainerd, we ran really well in the semi-finals against Tommy Johnson and I felt like I let the team down by not doing my job on the starting line. So I went to the gym and worked on my reaction time and just got myself in the right frame of mind coming in to the U.S. Nationals. I think we’ve got the ball rolling in the right direction. We’re definitely not peaking. I think we’re on the rise. This gives us a lot of confidence heading into the Countdown. We know we can run with these guys now,” said Todd. 

The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues September 13-16 at Maple Grove Raceway with the 34th annual Dodge NHRA Nationals and the kickoff to the Countdown to the Championship. 

Todd is currently fifth in the Funny Car season points standings.

J.R. Todd  (holding trophy) and the Kalitta Motorsports team after winning the Funny Car championship at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Monday, September 3. Photo courtesy Kalitta Motorsports.

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