Last year J.R. Todd tore through the Funny Car class and took home the Gatornationals trophy winning the historic event for the first time. Todd powered his DHL Toyota Camry to the season opening win and he was looking to become one of just a handful of Funny Car drivers to go back-to-back with a win this weekend.
In the only qualifying session J.R. Todd’s brand new Toyota GR Supra Funny Car experienced extreme tire shake as incredibly cool track temperatures made traction management an issue. Todd’s 11,000 horsepower Funny Car lost traction almost immediately and he had to shut off his race car and coats across the finish line with a time of 8.381 seconds. He generated enough power to qualify No. 11 and faced Blake Alexander in the first round.
Alexander was making his first appearance in 2022 and Todd’s DHL team felt confident going into the first round. Once again Mother Nature was making an impact on the racing conditions as unseasonably cold temperatures delayed the start of final eliminations by almost an hour and half to allow the air temperature to rise to a reasonable level for racing at over 330 mph. As both race cars staged it was Todd getting the jump off the starting line, but his race car once again smoked the tires immediately generating too much power to stay connected to the race track. Alexander was on an issue free pass that moved him to the quarterfinals.
“This was a tough weekend that we are just going to put behind us. Everyone dealt with the same conditions, so I am not making any excuses,” said Todd. “This DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car team will be ready for the Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas. We will get this figured out and be all right. I have said it before this is a long season and we just need to keep our heads down and keep working hard.”
Todd will leave Gainesville Raceway sitting in tenth place in the NHRA Camping World Funny Car point standings.