J.R. Todd will return to Top Fuel action at this week’s O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries in Houston in a second car for Bob Vandergriff Jr. Racing and sponsored by Total Equipment.
The Lone Star state has been very good to Vandergriff during the past several years. He found his primary sponsor, C&J Energy Services, headquartered there and won his first Wally in Dallas last fall, and now, he welcomes Todd into the fold for several races beginning in Houston. Total Equipment is a subsidiary of C&J Energy Services.
Following the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Todd and new crew chief Kurt Elliot, tested in Charlotte to get Todd relicensed to compete in Houston.
Todd has not competed in Top Fuel since the 2009 event in Sonoma, but Vandergriff said that he looked as natural as ever.
“J.R. made a strong 3.90-second full pass right out of the box,” said Vandergriff. “He’s a great driver paired up with a strong team led by Kurt Eliott. It doesn’t surprise me that the car ran good with the combination of those two guys added to largely the same crew that we had on the Yas Marina Circuit car last season, which ran a best of 3.78 seconds at 325 mph last fall.”
Vandergriff’s primary sponsor, C&J Energy Services, and its 300 hospitality guests attending the event race in Houston have a lot to look forward to since their last outing at the 2011 NHRA AAA Texas Falls Nationals in Dallas, where they helped cheer the team to its first ever Top Fuel event title. This time though, the guests in attendance will have twice as much to cheer for.
Barry Beadle, president of Total Equipment, is very excited about the upcoming race weekend. “This is going to be fun,” he said. “We’ll have a huge turnout with employees and customers of Total Equipment and C&J Energy Services attending the race in Houston. It’s such an exciting atmosphere, and we have two strong drivers to root for in the Top Fuel class, so we can’t wait until Friday qualifying starts to see where our guys rank and follow them throughout the weekend.”
For tickets for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries, call Royal Purple Raceway, 281-383-7223, or log on to www.royalpurpleraceway.com.