NHRA updates schedule, chat with JR Todd


FOX59’s Dave Griffiths chats with NHRA Funny Car driver JR Todd at Lucas Oil Raceway.

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BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Central Indiana motorsports fans will be grateful a new condensed schedule released this week by the NHRA leaves U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway on Labor Day weekend.

Still, for most drivers, like Indiana’s own and two-time U.S. Nationals champion JR Todd, sitting still isn’t in their DNA.

“It’s definitely difficult,” says Todd. “It tests your patience as a driver. After a week or two off, I’m ready to get going.

“Right now, I want to take my Toyota Tundra down the track and make some runs.”

Lucas Oil Raceway executives will be happy to know I did not challenge JR to a drag race then and there. Given his experience and his success at the track, things would not have gone too well for me, I’m sure.

“I started racing here when I was 10 years old,” explains Todd. “It seems like every time I pull through the gate here it gives me chills.”

Come Labor Day weekend, if the plan comes to fruition, the stands at the Brownsburg drag strip will no doubt be packed for U.S. Nationals. Until then, JR is engaging with those fans on social media as best he can.

“You catch yourself bored at home and just, ‘Alright, let’s get on there and do some Q&As, post some old pics and videos,” he says. “I love it when fans are tagging you in old pictures from 10, 15 years ago, seeing how different you look.”

The engagement is important to Todd, keeping the fans invested in NHRA even during this lull in the action. But his job demands training as well before the green light flashes go on the strip once again.

“You definitely can’t just sit home and watch Netflix and expect to stay sharp,” smiles Todd.

Data pix.

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