Championship Drag Racing

Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Indianapolis, Ind.
(August 27-September 1)

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Driver Profile
J.R. Todd dragster

Indy win would make Todd’s season

Indianapolis, pre-race: A resolute J.R. Todd is determined to set his sights on the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals ‘Wally’ and staying that focused has become a little clearer for the Lucas Oil Fuel Treatment driver.

Since being purged from Countdown contention after the Reading race, Todd is ready to make the best of things given that all he wants is to become more competitive and start winning extra rounds.

“I’m terribly disappointed about not making the Countdown,” said a solemn Todd. “From this point, we can concentrate on winning races, especially the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. To win that race would justify the bad year we’ve had. Everyone out there is gunning for this race. It’s the one race you want to add on your resume is the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. It’s the one I want to win. At the same time, I’m disappointed we didn’t make the Countdown, but hopefully we can just go out there and win as many races as possible the rest of the season”.

Now allowing more time to experiment with different engine and clutch combinations, the two-car concept is coming full circle enabling both cars to learn without sacrificing the top performance of the Lucas Oil team.

“Since we’re not allowed to do any testing outside the normal race weekend, now is a good time for us to try some stuff and go into a test mode for 2009, up to a point, without losing our motivation for winning races. Hopefully, we can work on our consistency and help Morgan (Lucas, teammate) along the way.”

The significance of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals has a special meaning all of its own. Adding one’s name on the winner’s list has become a true who’s who in the sport of drag racing. Checking the list, names like Garlits, Muldowney, Kalitta, Prudhomme, and Bernstein, just to name a few, are legends in the sport and Todd would surely like to place his name alongside those classic drivers. It pays the biggest purse of $75,000 to win and in the modest world of drag racing, that amount of cold cash can put big smiles on the crew’s face, so there’s incentive.

“It’s our Indianapolis 500, our Daytona 500 of drag racing,” said Todd. “Besides, being the biggest drag race of the year, I’ll have plenty of family and friends there that I grew up with, so to win in front of them would be huge. I haven’t had the best success there in the past, so I’m not going to add any additional pressure on myself to win but rather just do the best that I can. We have a good car behind us and maybe our luck will turnaround. It would cap off my year. After missing the Countdown, you want to win Indy. I would take an Indy win over a championship ring right now; it’s the one I want to win.”

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