J.R. Todd sits atop the Funny Car qualifying ladder after day one at New England Dragway. (NHRA Photo)
J.R. Todd sits atop the Funny Car qualifying ladder after day one at New England Dragway. (NHRA Photo)

Todd Sets Early New England Benchmark

EPPING, N.H. – Defending NHRA Funny Car champion J.R. Todd powered down the hot track Friday evening for the provisional top spot at the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway.

Todd drove his DHL Toyota Camry to a 4.022 second pass at 317.34 mph during the second round of qualifying. Todd is chasing his second No. 1 qualifier of the season, 12th of his career and first at New England Dragway.

“We’re starting the second half of the season and it’s really go time, to start making moves,” Todd said. “I said last year I wanted to be in the top five coming out of Indy and we’re hanging right around there right now. But that was a good run for the DHL Toyota there in Q2. I didn’t think it was going to hold, though. I’m kind of surprised (Ron) Capps didn’t run better than he did. But, hats off to (crew chiefs) Jon (Oberhofer) and Todd Smith for adapting to these hot conditions and making this thing rip like it is.”

Capps and teammate Shawn Langdon are currently in the second and third spots, respectively, following Friday’s sessions qualifying.

Clay Millican is also sitting in the top spot for Top Fuel at the 13th of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series calendar.

Millican’s second qualifying run of 3.795 seconds at 326.71 mph in his Parts Plus/Laris Motorsports Insurance dragster earned the top spot of the day. He is looking for his second No. 1 qualifying position of the season, 22nd of his career and first at the NHRA New England Nationals.

“It was pretty obvious that everybody was having trouble,” Millican said. “There was no way a 3.79 was going to stay No. 1, I didn’t think. We were second car down the race track in that session and it’s a good race track but any race track is going to have trouble when it’s this hot outside.”