J.R. Todd Wins Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge in Front of Sellout Phoenix Crowd

J.R. Todd, right, joins Mission Foods Brand Ambassador Angelle Sampey after winning the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge in Phoenix. Todd is the No. 5 qualifier and will race Cruz Pedregon in the first round of Sunday’s NHRA Arizona Nationals. (Photo Courtesy: Kalitta Motorsports)  

CHANDLER, Ariz. (April 6, 2024) — J.R. Todd and his DHL GR Supra Funny Car team raced to the winner’s circle in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge featuring a rematch of the semifinals and finals from the season’s second race in Pomona, Calif., two weeks ago. On the day the NCAA is playing its men’s basketball Final Four not far from the race track, NHRA raced in front of a sellout crowd at Firebird Motorsports Park.

When Todd advanced to the Pomona semifinals, he earned a spot in today’s Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. During Friday’s first qualifying session, Todd defeated Matt Hagan in a rematch of the Pomona semifinal Hagan won. In the final round, which was also the second round of qualifying for tomorrow’s NHRA Arizona Nationals, Todd defeated Pomona race winner John Force. It was Todd’s second win in this special event – he won it at Sonoma Raceway last summer and went on to win the race the next day.

“We made three good runs in qualifying and were fortunate enough to win this Mission event – gotta thank Mission Foods for putting up the extra money and bonus points – those are definitely nice to have in your back pocket later in the year in the Countdown,” Todd said. “When you’re racing 16-time (John Force), you always have to get up for him. Any time you can turn on a win light against the greatest of all time, that’s doing something – whether it’s the Mission event or the actual race on Sunday. He’s a tough one to get by.

“It’s nice to turn on the win light for the DHL guys – they deserve it; they’ve been working their butts off so it’s nice to get a win those guys, DHL, Revchem, SealMaster and everyone else who supports us. We’ve been getting lucky so far this year, but like I’ve been saying, I’ll take luck any day of the week as long as it lets us keeps turning on win lights. I also want to thank all the fans for coming out and packing this place today. It was pretty awesome.”

Todd was off the starting line first and never looked back defeating Force 3.974 seconds to 4.000 seconds. With the win, Todd and team earned a $10,000 bonus and three Countdown to the Championship bonus points.

In addition to winning the special event, Todd is the No. 5 qualifier for Sunday’s race. He will meet Cruz Pedregon in the first round Sunday morning. In Top Fuel, 2023 Top Fuel champion Doug Kalitta qualified No. 3 and will race Terry Totten in Sunday’s first round. Shawn Langdon, who won the season’s first race, qualified No. 5 and will race Josh Hart in the opening round.