JR Todd’s racing legacy celebrated in Air and Space Museum's 'Nation of Speed' exhibit

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum just opened up a new exhibit featuring veteran National Hot Rod Association Funny Car driver J.R. Todd.

The new "Nation of Speed" exhibit features memorabilia from Todd’s historic career, including old uniforms and awards. 

Todd, a drag racer for the NHRA, made history in 2006 when he became the first African American to win a Top Fuel race. 

On Friday, Todd will have the opportunity to see his burn suit from his 2006 Top Fuel win on display for the first time.

"It’s definitely surreal," Todd told FOX 5’s Chad Ricardo. "It definitely brings back memories from my rookie season."

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Todd made history once again in 2018 when he became the first African American to win the NHRA’s Funny Car World Championships. He is currently preparing for the Virginia NHRA Nationals in Richmond. 

For Todd, racing is a family business. 

He picked up his passion for racing from his father, who raced dirt track motorcycles. From there, Todd leaped head first into the world of racing and the driver’s seat, competing in junior drag races when he was just 10 years old. 

While visiting his exhibit, Todd offered advice to any youth looking to get into drag racing.

"Set a goal for yourself and stick with it," Todd said. "Don’t give up. I’m definitely living proof that dreams do come true."