Coming off one of his best races of the 2023 season, J.R. Todd hopes his DHL team’s “new combination” will combine with healthy desire to finish the season on a high note. The 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Season resumes this weekend with the Nevada NHRA Nationals on The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fifth of six races making up the Countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs.
One race ago in Texas, Todd qualified No. 6 and reached the semifinals for his best Countdown showing to date. With three good qualifying runs and a strong performance on race day, Todd and team have high hopes for the season’s remaining races, in which it will compete with the DHL #AsOneAgainstCancer livery.
“Our Dallas race was definitely the best race we’ve had in a long time,” Todd said. “We qualified really well and made our best run there in Q4 (fourth qualifying session – 3.857 secs. at 330.32 mph) – it was the best run we’d made in a really long time. That’s definitely showing some promise going into the last two races of the year.”
Todd enters Las Vegas in sixth place in the NHRA Funny Car point standings. He trails fifth place by just 14 points but is nearly 100 points out of fourth. Regardless of where the points shake out, what matters most is competing in Las Vegas.
“I sure hope we can keep that going this week – we’ve run well in Vegas in the past,” Todd continued. “We kind of have a new combination compared to what we’ve run most of this season. I think it showed some signs of progress late in the weekend in Dallas so I’m hoping that carries over to Vegas. To me, fifth in points was a realistic goal, and we would have gotten there if we’d made the final in Dallas. That’s kind of where I have my sights set for now, and then with points and a half in Pomona, that always seems to shake things up. If guys go out early, and you have a good day, who knows where we could end up. A top-five finish is definitely my goal.
“Finishing the season on a positive note is definitely key looking at the season we’ve had. That win (in Sonoma) was definitely good and much needed, but overall, it hasn’t been the season we wanted so we’re hoping to finish with a trophy or two to close it out.”