J.R. Todd Ends Top Fuel Drought

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The NHRA television package with ESPN features five live elimination rounds in 2015. (Don Holbrook Photo)
J.R. Todd (near lane) outran Brittany Force in the finals of the NHRA Top Fuel class Sunday during the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Colorado. (Don Holbrook Photo)
J.R. Todd (near lane) outran Brittany Force in the finals of the NHRA Top Fuel class Sunday during the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Colorado. (Don Holbrook Photo)

MORRISON, Colo. – J.R. Todd earned his first Top Fuel win of the season and first since 2008, by racing to victory Sunday at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

Robert Hight (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were winners in their respective categories at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event outside of Denver.

Todd, driver of the Optima Batteries dragster, trailed Brittany Force at the start of the run but was able to defeat the driver of the Castrol Edge dragster with a run of 3.878 seconds at 317.87 mph to the losing pass of Force at 3.968 at 297.35. This is the second win at Bandimere Speedway for Todd who claimed his first career NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series win at the facility in 2006.

Todd defeated Terry McMillan, Steve Torrence, and Larry Dixon en route to the final round.

“These things are hard to come by whether you are full time or part time,” said Todd, who returned to racing full time this season at the event in Gainesville. “I knew at the time I got the opportunity to drive for the Kalitta group it was probably the best opportunity I was ever going to have to win one of these things.”

With the victory, Todd moves from 10th in points to the eighth with only four races left until the Countdown to the Championship, which begins in Charlotte in September.

“I’m pretty solid now but I want a cushion,” he continued. “I want to make the Countdown because after that, anything can happen. We were fortunate enough to put a little distance on the guys behind us and gain on the ones in front of us.”