Todd's Dominating Run Gives Toyota 9th World Title
Todd dominated throughout the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs, earning three victories in five final round appearances, culminating with his sixth victory of the season at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona to capture the title. The playoff wins were just part of a brilliant campaign that saw the DHL Toyota Camry driver lead the series in victories, as well as win-loss record in elimination rounds (44-18, 71%) in just his second season in Funny Car. The championship was the second in four years for a Toyota Camry Funny Car driver and the third since 2008. Overall, Toyota-supported drivers have now won nine NHRA world championships.
Todd also was victorious in some of the biggest events on the schedule, including the U.S. Nationals and the Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas. Overall, his six victories were the highest ever for a Toyota Funny Car driver. In addition, Cruz Pedregon also found his way to the Funny Car Winner’s Circle, taking top honors at the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals to give Camry Funny Cars a single-season best seven victories in 2018.
A year after Todd made the transition from Top Fuel to Funny Car, 2013 Top Fuel champion Shawn Langdon followed suit. Langdon qualified for the Countdown in his inaugural Funny Car season, advancing to five semifinals on the way to a tenth-place finish.
In Top Fuel, all three Toyota-supported drivers found their way to Victory Lane in 2018 with victories at two of the most prestigious races on the circuit. Doug Kalitta won at the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona, while Kalitta Motorsports teammate Richie Crampton was triumphant at the 49thrunning of the Gatornationals in Gainesville.
In addition, Antron Brown became just the fourth driver in NHRA history to win 50 Top Fuel events with his victory at Seattle, marking the 11thstraight season that he’s won since making the move into Top Fuel in 2008. Brown would finish the season sixth in the Top Fuel standings, one spot ahead of Kalitta.
The 2019 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series kicks off with the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Feb. 8-10.
TOYOTA NHRA Champions
2016 Antron Brown, Top Fuel
2015 Antron Brown, Top Fuel
2015 Del Worsham, Funny Car
2013 Shawn Langdon, Top Fuel
2012 Antron Brown, Top Fuel
2011 Del Worsham, Top Fuel
2010 Larry Dixon, Top Fuel
2008 Cruz Pedregon, Funny Car
2018 Toyota Wins (10)
Top Fuel (3) – Doug Kalitta, Pomona; Richie Crampton,Gainesville; Antron Brown,Seattle
Funny Car (7) – J.R. Todd,Las Vegas-4, Houston, Indianapolis, Reading; Las Vegas-2, Pomona Finals; Cruz Pedregon,Charlotte-4
2018 Toyota NHRA Full-time Drivers Performance Index To Date - Qualify Result/Race Result
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