With heightened anticipation in both the racing and oilfield industries, J.R. Todd jumped into the cockpit of the Total Equipment And Service top fuel dragster this past weekend and settled in quickly. The Royal Purple Raceway event, where Todd won in 2007, now has another significant meaning in his career as his return to NHRA after a 3 year hiatus.
Friday opened up well for the Bob Vandergriff Racing driver with an opening Round 1 pass of 3.95sec at 312mph. Gaining confidence in qualifying, he improved to a 3.87sec at 319mph later that day in Round 2. Even though Saturday's rounds 3 and 4 (3.94 and 3.96) didn't improve his position, the passes proved he had a solid race day contention in mind. The O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries Elimination Round began Sunday morning; the team was ready and the fans were excited. Todd staged next to Antron Brown, the same driver he last faced in the semifinals in Sonoma, CA (2009). With hopes to join his teammate, Bob Vendergriff Jr, who had already got a seat in the QuarterFinals, JR held a very tight race until a backfire automatically deployed his chute at about 660ft.
The weekend was a true success for the team as hundreds of employees, vendors, customers, friends and family joined in on the festivities throughout the 3 day event. Both press and fans were excited to see Todd back in the driver seat with such great track presence.
We look forward to continued racing excitement from J.R. Todd during the 2012 season, including this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta, GA. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN2HD, both Saturday and Sunday evenings.
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