Rookie Todd has big day in NHRA

By wire services
Published February 11, 2006

POMONA, Calif. - Top Fuel rookie J.R. Todd's professional debut is going well, as the 24-year-old outran all the veterans Friday at the NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway.

John Force and Greg Anderson also were leaders in their respective categories.

Force was the only leader to remain on top of his class, while Anderson quickly overcame a forgettable start with a track-record performance in Pro Stock.

Todd powered his Dexter Tuttle-owned Menards dragster to a time of 4.508 seconds at 321.65 mph to lead the 16-car Top Fuel order.

"I just wanted to come and here and qualify," Todd said. "If I do my job we might have some fun on race day.

"This is what I've always wanted to do. I don't let the pressure of running against guys like Tony Schumacher and Larry Dixon get to me. I try not to even think about it. But it is very cool."

Force edged Tony Pedregon by one-thousandth of a second to maintain the Funny Car lead.