Todd Tops Atlanta Funny Car Qualifying

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J.R. Todd paces NHRA Funny Car qualifying Friday at Atlanta Dragway. (NHRA Photo)

COMMERCE, Ga. – Defending NHRA Funny Car champion J.R. Todd raced to the provisional qualifying lead on Friday at the 39th annual Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional qualifying leaders in their respective categories at the seventh of 24 events during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Todd raced his DHL Toyota Camry to the top spot in Funny Car with his pass of 3.944 seconds at 323.50 mph on Friday. After picking up his first win of the season in Houston, Todd is now going for his first No. 1 qualifier of the season and 11th in his career. If his time holds up, Todd would also give the Kalitta Motorsports its 100th No. 1 qualifier.

“This gives me a lot of confidence, but I know going into a race that I have a great team behind me and they can adapt to any condition,” Todd said. “It was tricky and I had my hands full down track. We were lucky to hang on and I think we just hit it right.”

Force, who already has two No. 1 qualifiers this season in her Advance Auto Parts dragster, currently sits atop the Top Fuel field after rocket to a 3.720-second pass at 319.52 mph. She is seeking her 13th No. 1 qualifier this weekend, as well as her first win at Atlanta Dragway.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, points leader Hines went 6.856 seconds at 195.82 mph to go to the No. 1 spot on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. Hines, who picked up his 50th career win last weekend, is after his second No. 1 qualifier of the year and 44th in his career.