The Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals have kicked off and are going through Labor Day at Lucas Oil Raceway!
J.R. Todd, driver of the DHL/WIX Filters Toyota Camry, is looking to defend his US Nationals win and currently sits at 6th place in the point standings.
Todd was born addicted to racing, possessing a thirst and passion for the craft that was
passed down by his dad, who had an insatiable need for speed and motorcycles.
With his father, Mario, wanting to avoid the injury-plagued world of motorcycles for J.R., he
began racing in junior dragsters at the age of 10 and stayed in the program until the age of 17.
In 2000, he raced a Top Fuel dragster for the first time in IHRA competition, but his lower-budget
team ran out of funds at season’s end, and Todd would go on to work as a crewman through
In 2006, Todd received his first big opportunity with a Top Fuel ride in the NHRA – the highest
level of drag racing. In his first year, the Indiana native won three national events –becoming the
first African-American driver to win an NHRA Top Fuel event in Denver. He would be named
series Rookie of the Year.Sponsorship woes would sideline Todd after the 2008 season, and he bounced around the
circuit, at times wondering if he would ever get another full-time shot at drag racing glory.
In 2014, that opportunity finally came when drag racing legend Connie Kalitta called Todd with
an offer to drive one of his Top Fuel cars shortly after the beginning of the season. Todd jumped
on the opportunity. Eight races later, Todd was back in the winner’s circle in Denver. A year later,
he won again, this time in Seattle.
In 2016, Todd won again at the Toyota Nationals in Sonoma, California and ended the season as
one of the hottest drivers on the circuit on the way to a fourth-place overall finish. He was
considered a prime Top Fuel championship contender heading into 2017 when he made the
decision to accept the offer to move to drive the DHL/WIX Filters Toyota Camry Funny Car – his
first time ever competing in a Funny Car.
It did not take long for Todd to experience success: in his 15th career Funny Car race, Todd
would score victory once again in Sonoma, becoming the 16th driver in NHRA history to claim
victory in Top Fuel and Funny Car and the first since 2011. Additionally, he became the first
African-American driver and first former Junior Dragster competitor ever to win in the NHRA
Funny Car ranks.
With his first career Funny Car win under his belt, Todd added another victory very quickly: just
three races later, Todd claimed NHRA’s Super Bowl, the U.S. Nationals, his home race. He
would finish among the top ten drivers in the standings in his debut season behind the wheel of
the DHL/WIX Filters Toyota Camry Funny Car.
In 2018, Todd started his second season strong with his first career back-to-back wins in Las Vegas and Houston.
Follow Todd on social media (Twitter: @JRTodd373, Instagram: @J_R_Todd) to stay up-to-date on the latest results and successes.
See the full weekend schedule at Lucas Oil Raceway at www.nhra.com.