J.R. Todd; DHL Toyota GR Supra Funny Car
J.R. Todd enters the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season hungry for his second NHRA Funny Car championship. The 2018 champion recorded his ninth-consecutive top-10 points finish last season with a ninth-place finish but is eager for more. The driver of the DHL Toyota has 19 career victories, but none was more historic than his first.
Prior to his Funny Car career, Todd was a Top Fuel driver. When he earned his first-career NHRA Top Fuel victory at the 2006 Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver, he became the first African-American driver to win in NHRA’s Top Fuel division. He added additional wins at Sonoma, Calif., and Reading, Pa., and won the Auto Club Road to the Future Award as the 2006 NHRA Rookie of the Year.
Todd began his career in the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League at the age of 10 where he competed against some of the toughest young drag racing talent in the country. Before Junior Dragsters, he rode four-wheelers and dirt bikes following in the tire tracks of his father, Mario.
He eventually moved up to compete in Super Comp and attended Frank Hawley’s Top Alcohol Dragster school. He earned his Top Fuel license in 2000 at the age of 18, one week after graduating from high school. Before he began his professional driving career, Todd worked as a crew member on Bob Gilbertson’s Funny Car team from 2003-‘05.
For the next eight seasons, the Jupiter, Fla., resident won a handful of events but did not sustain a consistent presence on the NHRA tour until 2014 when he was tapped by drag racing legend Connie Kalitta to pilot one of his Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel dragsters. Todd won three races in Top Fuel before switching to Funny Car prior to the 2017 season.
He was successful in Funny Car from the start. He put the DHL Toyota Camry in the winner’s circle twice in 2017 including the prestigious U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend. The following year, Todd was a repeat winner at the U.S. Nationals – one of his six wins that season. He raced to five final rounds in the six-race Countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs on his way to the 2018 NHRA Funny Car Championship.
Todd has nineteen career national event wins including nine Top Fuel titles and 10 Funny Car wins as well as 14 No. 1 qualifiers in his career. In his spare time, he enjoys bowling, watching Sprint Car races and attending sporting events.
J.R. Todd Quick Facts:
Residence: Jupiter, Fla.
Hometown: Lawrenceburg, Ind.
Date of birth: Dec. 16, 1981
Career Race Wins (through 2022): 19 (10 Funny Car, nine Top Fuel)
Career No. 1 qualifiers (through 2022): 14
Fastest Speed (through 2022): 334.40 mph
Career Rounds Raced Won-Lost (through 2022): 301-254 (.550)
Best points finish: 1 (2018)
First start: Pomona1, 2006 (Top Fuel); Pomona 2, 2017 (Funny Car)
Marital Status: Single
Height/weight: 5’6”, 140 lbs.
Hobbies: Bowling, skiing, riding motorcycles
Notable: Former NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League competitor from 1993-’98; Worked as a crew member for Bob Gilbertson’s Funny Car team from 2003-‘05