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 Todd Improves In Point Standings after Houston Quarterfinal Finish

Race Recap: 

J.R. Todd, the defending SpringNationals champion, fell short of repeating today but knows he has a championship contending Funny Car. Looking for his second consecutive win of the season and back-to-back SpringNationals wins Todd squared off with journeyman Jim Campbell in the first round. Todd took a starting line advantage and never trailed in the race. His elapsed time of 3.930 seconds was the third quickest run of the opening session.

“I felt good this morning coming into the race,” said Todd. “That opening run was strong and I knew I had a race car. I love driving this DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car especially when it is putting up numbers like that 3.93 in the first round.”

In the second round facing two-time Funny Car champion Robert Hight Todd was giving up lane choice but the 18-time national event winner was undeterred.  It took the quickest elapsed time of the second round to end Todd’s bid to repeat in Houston. Todd was again the third quickest Funny Car of the session but it wasn’t enough to race to the semifinals. The DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car lit up the scoreboard with a 3.940 second run but unfortunately Hight’s 3.914 second run was too much.

“Racing against Robert is always tough. I am really proud of my guys,” said Hight. “We moved up to third place in the points and I have a really good feeling about where we are as a team heading into the middle of the season. We put on a great show in Houston.”

J.R. Todd used an impressive effort in qualifying to move up to third place in the Mello Yello Funny Car point standings going into race day. The defending SpringNationals champion was second quickest in qualifying on Friday night picking up two bonus points and on Saturday the DHL Toyota Camry was the quickest Funny Car in session number three earning another three bonus points. In the final session Todd picked up one more bonus point as the third quickest Funny Car down the track. His final three elapsed times were an impress string of low 3.90s, a 3.903, a 3.916 and 3.914 seconds.

Todd on racing to the quarterfinals: "We had a great race weekend. This DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car was amazingly consistent. My crew had this race car dialed in. We made five consecutive passes in the low 3.90s and that is the kind of performance a team needs to win rounds. We are to the east coast and it will start to get hotter. We have a bad ass race car.”
Qualified: No. 4 (3.903 sec., 326.08 mph)
Bonus points: +6 total; +2 Q2 (3.903 sec), +3 Q3 (3.916 sec) and +1 Q4 (3.941 sec) 

Race Details:
First Round                                                                           
Driver                                      Qual              R/T        ET         MPH  
J.R. Todd                                 4                    .076       3.930     318.99
Jim Campbell                          13                  .133       8.381     71.17
Second Round
Driver                                      Qual              R/T        ET         MPH
J.R. Todd                                 4                    .073       3.940     318.62
Robert Hight                            5                    .052       3.914     314.75

Doug Kalitta sunday Houston 

Kalitta Continues To Lead Points After SpringNationals

Race Recap: 

Doug Kalitta was looking for his record-setting fourth SpringNationals win today at Houston Raceway Park. As the No. 8 qualifier Kalitta had a tough first round versus veteran driver Terry McMillen. Kalitta was riding a three race win streak over Terry McMillen this season. The Team Kalitta veteran driver has eliminated him in the semifinals of the Winternationals and the first round of the Gatornationals and Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals last week.

Kalitta’s streak continued on Sunday morning. Kalitta got the jump off the starting line in the Toyota Top Fuel Dragster and was blasting down the track aggressively pulling away from McMillen. As the Toyota dragster crossed the finish line the engine gave out and Kalitta’s race car trailed a sizeable fireball which the NHRA Safety Safari quickly extinguished.

In the second round Kalitta gave up lane choice to Brittany Force, the No. 1 qualifier. The veteran driver once again took a starting line reaction time advantage but it was not enough to hold off Force. The Toyota dragster made a nice smooth pass but it was not enough to advance to the semifinals. The veteran driver, and winner of the season opening Winternationals, will leave Houston as the Top Fuel Mello Yello Points leader, position he has held since his semifinal finish at the Gatornationals.

Kalitta on racing the Toyota dragster: “The Toyota wrap on the car looked great and it was great to run it in Houston. We were hoping to get that fourth SpringNationals win,” said Kalitta, the Top Fuel point leader. “Toyota has been a great partner and it’s been a real bonus for our team technically having TRD out there with us. I’m a true believer that having TRD’s involvement was a big part in winning the Funny Car championship last year.”

Qualified: No. 8 (3.727 sec., 322.19 mph) 

Race Details: 
First Round                                                                           
Driver                                      Qual              R/T        ET         MPH  
Doug Kalitta                            8                    .049       3.768     313.44
Terry McMillen                        9                    .327       3.784     279.96
Second Round
Driver                                      Qual              R/T        ET         MPH  
Doug Kalitta                            8                    .073       3.744     320.36
Brittany Force                         1                    .083       3.678     323.74

Shawn Langdon

Langdon Races Into Top Ten With Quarterfinal Finish

Race Recap: 

For the third time in four races Shawn Langdon and the Global Technology Toyota Camry squared off with two-time world champion Cruz Pedregon in the first round. In Phoenix it was Langdon coming out on top but weeks later at the Gatornationals Pedregon advanced. Today Langdon and Pedregon were racing for a foothold in the Mello Yello Top Ten and Langdon powered his Toyota Camry Funny Car to a first round win. The sophomore Funny Car driver made his quickest run of the weekend a solid 3.994 second pass.

“That was a nice win,” said Langdon. “We have been racing Cruz a lot lately it seems and we wanted to get that win and spot in the Top Ten. It is still early in the season but you can’t afford to have a lot of first round losses. I think we’ll get some momentum from this for not just this race but for future races too.”

In the quarterfinals Langdon took a starting line advantage over the veteran driver Ron Capps. His lead was short lived and Langdon elapsed time slowed from the first round. While Langdon did not advance to the semifinals the up and coming Funny Car driver knows there is momentum driving his Toyota Camry team.


Langdon on quarterfinal finish: “What I liked about today was we made our best pass of the weekend during the first round of eliminations. We knew we needed to step up and we did. That shows what kind of character this Global Electronic Technology team has. We were the No. 10 qualifier and we took out a tough competitor.”

Qualified: No. 10 (3.948 sec., 319.14 mph) 

Race Details:

First Round                                                                           
Driver                                      Qual              R/T        ET         MPH  
Shawn Langdon                      10                  .064       3.994     316.23
Cruz Pedregon                        7                    .099       4.335     203.77
Second Round
Driver                                      Qual              R/T        ET         MPH   Finish
Shawn Langdon                      10                   .061       3.983     318.17
Ron Capps                               2                    .068       3.938     315.78

Richie Crampton sunday Houston

Crampton Exits Early But Holds Onto Top Fuel Top Ten

Race Recap: 

As the No. 13 qualifier Richie Crampton knew he would have a tough battle ahead of him at the NHRA SpringNationals. The most recent Gatornationals winner felt confident going into race day. In the first round the DHL dragster pulled up beside fellow championship contender Clay Millican, the two dragsters would be the second pair of race cars down a drastically cooler race track than the previous two days of qualifying.

Both dragsters launched hard and Millican began pulling away from Crampton before half-track. Crampton’s dragster began hazing the tires and then experienced a quick engine explosion followed by a quick flash of flames.

Crampton will hold onto his solid Top Ten position heading to the next race in Charlotte in two weeks.

Crampton on first round: “We knew we had a tough first round and we gave it all we had. It started hazing the tires and then the engine let go. We have two weeks to get reading for Charlotte which is another four-wide race. We are holding tight in the top ten and the focus of this team is to keep racing hard and contend for the championship. ”

Qualified: No. 13 (3.780 sec., 320.81 mph)

Race Details: 

First Round                                                                           
Driver                                      Qual              R/T        ET         MPH
Richie Crampton                   13                  .066      5.644     90.35
Clay Millican                          4                   .065       3.765     316.60

Kalitta Merchandise


Funny Car Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:

Funny Car

1 Robert Hight 1341
2 John Force 1155
3 Tommy Johnson Jr 1117
4 Ron Capps 1057
5 Jack Beckman 1039
6 Bob Tasca III 985
7 Matt Hagan 965
8 J.R. Todd 949
9 Shawn Langdon 840
10 Tim Wilkerson 792

Top Fuel Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:

Top Fuel

1 Steve Torrence 1587
2 Antron Brown 966
3 Clay Millican 955
4 Brittany Force 953
5 Doug Kalitta 940
6 Mike Salinas 883
7 Leah Pritchett 786
8 Richie Crampton 753
8 Austin Prock 753
10 Terry McMillen 676
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