Post-Race Report Event 02: Arizona Nationals Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park

JR Todd

JR Todd

Mechanical woes end Todd’s Phoenix run

Race Recap: With his Funny Car debut in the rearview mirror, Todd was looking for more round wins in Phoenix.

The DHL Toyota team started strong with three solid passes; their best was Todd’s first career Funny Car pass in the 3.8 second range. The 3.889 second pass in the third qualifying session bumped Todd into the top half of the field. However, it would prove to be a intramural battle with Todd facing his Funny Car teammate, Alexis DeJoria for the first time.

Todd was able to get the jump off of the line and led start-to-finish to pick up the round win. He lowered his career-best for the second straight day with a 3.887 second pass. That run gave him lane choice over Jim Campbell in the second round. However, when the DHL Toyota came up to the line to race Campbell, the team suffered mechanical problems as a leak was discovered in the air system, which in turn tripped the safety components on the Funny Car. This did not allow Todd to give the DHL Camry throttle and so it did not move once the tree dropped. With those issues, Campbell was able to pick up the round win.

Qualified: No. 7 (3.889 sec., 326.63 mph)

E1: Todd defeated DeJoria – 3.887 sec., 330.07 mph to 5.829 sec., 119.55 mph **CAREER-BEST FUNNY CAR ET**

E2: Todd defeated by Campbell – Broke to 4.848 sec., 165.84 mph

Quotable: “Disappointing way to end our day for the DHL Toyota team. It is always tough when it is mechanical problems and you don’t get a shot at the track. However, we will figure out the source of the issue. I look forward to making some more laps tomorrow at Wild Horse Pass and hopefully learning some more that can help us as we head into Gainesville.”

Point Standings: Sixth (-135); trails John Force by seven points for fifth; leads Jim Campbell by three points for seventh

Doug Kalitta

Kalitta loses early in Phoenix

Race Recap: After a solid start to the 2017 Mello Yello season for Kalitta and the Mac Tools team, they turned to Phoenix with momentum.

Qualifying was a struggle early but the Mac Tools team got it figured it out by Saturday as they laid down a stellar 3.695 second pass to slot Kalitta in the top five overall in Top Fuel qualifying.

First up was Shawn Reed. Kalitta’s Mac Tools ride left the line first, but encountered issues. Kalitta was able to get it going quickly, but at that point Reed had already drove around and he took the win light stopping Kalitta in the first round.

Qualified: No. 5 (3.695 sec., 328.78 mph)

E1: Kalitta defeated by Reed – 3.971 sec., 270.10 mph to 3.929 sec., 276.35 mph

Quotable: “Very early ending to the Arizona Nationals for this Mac Tools Toyota team. Definitely not what the goal was for today. However, in racing you will have that. These Mac Tools guys will work hard at home, and we will see if we can change the tides in Gainesville.”

Point Standings: Fifth (-105); trails Antron Brown by three points for fourth; leads Steve Torrence by 30 for sixth

Troy Coughlin Jr. 

Coughlin Jr. suffers tough first round defeat

Race Recap: Coughlin Jr.’s weekend was filled with many highs, but unfortunately a quick ending to Sunday.

On Friday, the SealMaster Toyota driver earned his first career bonus point in the first session and then made his career-best pass, a 3.696, on Friday evening. After the close of Saturday, he earned the sixth starting spot; his second straight top half start to begin his Top Fuel career.

His opponent would prove to be Scott Palmer, who is embarking on his first full-time season in NHRA Top Fuel action. Coughlin Jr. moved first, but dropped a clyinder down track which allowed Palmer to drive by at the line ending Coughlin Jr.’s day in the first round.

Qualified: No. 6 (3.696 sec., 326.48 mph)

E1: Coughlin Jr. defeated by Palmer – 3.872 sec., 266.21 mph to 3.833 sec., 317.42 mph

Quotable: “We are making progress. I really believe that the strings are loosening as far as the hesitations in this SealMaster machine. I am getting more and more comfortable. Everybody on this SealMaster Toyota team is doing a great job. I really appreciate all the guys for all they do. They are not rookies at this, and I really appreciate the good attitudes and their hard work. I can’t do it without them; this is a team.”

Point Standings: Eighth (-156); trails Shawn Reed by 10 points for seventh, leads Scott Palmer by five points for ninth

Alexis DeJoria 

DeJoria defeated by teammate in round one

Race Recap: DeJoria started the weekend strong as her qualifying spot was ensured after her 3.920 second pass in the first session on Friday. The Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry nearly matched that in the last session, but was unable to move up in the qualifying order leading to a date with her Funny Car teammate, J.R. Todd, in the first round of eliminations.

DeJoria and Todd were close at the 60′ line, but DeJoria’s Camry encountered troubles soon after ending her day early at the Arizona Nationals.

Qualified: No. 10 (3.920 sec., 325.14 mph)

E1: DeJoria defeated by Todd – 5.829 sec., 119.55 mph to 3.887 sec., 330.07 mph

Point Standings: 12th (-163); trails Del Worsham by 18 points for 11th, leads Phil Burkart Jr. by five points for 13th