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Todd gets first Funny Car win

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

For the first-time since making the switch to the DHL Funny Car in Dec., J.R. Todd picked up the Wally. He won his first race in a Funny Car with Kalitta Motorsports at the 30th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

Todd won with a 4.049 at 323.27 mph pass. He defeated Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang pilot Tim Wilkerson in the final round.

J.R. Todd (Photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)

J.R. Todd (Photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA)

Wilkerson went 6.823 at 100.26 mph.

Todd made history with the win, as he became the first African-American to win in the NHRA Funny Car category. He also joins “The Snake” Don Prudhomme, as the second driver to win in both nitro classes at Sonoma Raceway.

“Our car showed us a lot of promise in Denver, which gave us hope coming in here,” Todd said. “We’ve been struggling so bad this season; I’m just happy to win a Funny Car [race]. I was able to win here last year in Top Fuel and to be able to come back and do it again in Funny Car is pretty special.”

He’s also the 16th driver to win in both Top Fuel and Funny Car.

Prior to this final round, Todd was 2-0 against Wilkerson. This was the first-time that they faced each other in the final round.

Wilkerson made his second final round of the season. This was his 39th final round appearance.

According to, the two cars were separated by 0.002 off of the starting line. Wilkerson then had a narrow lead by the 60-feet mark.

The Levi, Ray & Shoup driver then smoked the tires before the 330 mark. He tried to save it, but wasn’t able to as Todd zoomed by.

Todd won by 2.7760 seconds, or more than a 100 feet.

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