MOHNTON, Pa. --
Todd, who earlier this season became the first African-American to win an NHRA POWERade Series event in Top Fuel, used a career-best pass of 4.494 seconds to power past Melanie Troxel and take the trophy of the $1.5 million Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
In Funny Car, Phil Burkart scored an unlikely win over red-hot Robert Hight to win for the first time in 53 races. Three-time Pro Stock champ Greg Anderson won his 42nd title, while Karen Stoffer was victorious in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
By advancing one round further than Schumacher, Kalitta was able to extend his lead over Schumacher from 33 to 52 points. Brandon Bernstein is 10 points back in third.
In just 16 professional starts, Todd has pushed his final-round record to a perfect 3-0 with a string of career-best passes. After out-running Cory McClenathan in Round 1, he lowered his personal best time to 4.502 against Tony Schumacher and then posted a career-best top speed of 327.82 mph versus Dave Grubnic. Still, he saved his best for last, dipping into the 4.4s for the first time to extinguish Troxel with a 4.494 at 324.12 mph.
"I never thought I'd be standing here with three wins and people talking about Rookie of the Year," Todd said. "We were only going to run part-time this year but [sponsor] Evan Knoll stepped up his involvement and said straight out he wanted to beat Tony Schumacher. I was like, well who doesn't, but he's given us what it takes to do it."
"We sure didn't back into this win," Burkart said. "We start out beating the points leader in Ron Capps, then we get the world champ, then I race the John Force, the best guy ever, and take him out in front of all my friends and family, I just don't think it gets any better than this."
Force started the day 37 points behind Capps but ended up one ahead thanks to his semifinal run and Capps' first-round loss. Hight has crept to within 35 of the points lead.
"How tough is Pro Stock?" Anderson asked. "If I didn't win the race I wouldn't have gained a nickel on Jason. Both of our cars are so good and it's just exciting that our biggest competition comes from within our team. I need to be perfect for the rest of the year if I want to win my fourth title. It's back and forth with me and Jason and I hope we stay friends through this. I think we will but it's gonna be a fight."
"I think that door falling on my head knocked some sense into me because I've been driving great all season," Stoffer said, referring to an accident at the end of last year when her race transporter's rear lift door collapsed on her. "What a great weekend for us. The only thing we didn't do was set the E.T. record."
Obviously racing without the burden of team orders, Andrew Hines, who led Antron Brown by eight points coming into this event, lost to Harley teammate GT Tonglet in the opening round on a huge .027- to .131-second holeshot. Tonglet, who is 13th in the points, lost to Scali in the next session.
Hines' loss allowed Brown, who raced to the semifinals, to take the lead for the third time this year. Brown now leads Hines by 27 points and Sampey by 64.
Sunday's final results from the 22nd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. The $1.5 million race is the 20th of 23 in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series-
Top Fuel -- J.R. Todd, 4.494 seconds, 324.12 mph def. Melanie Troxel, 4.538 seconds, 324.28 mph.
Funny Car -- Phil Burkart, Chevy Monte Carlo, 7.528, 203.92 def. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, broke.
Pro Stock -- Greg Anderson, Pontiac GTO, 6.656, 208.36 def. Greg Stanfield, GTO, foul.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 7.097, 187.94 def. Geno Scali, Suzuki, 8.105, 121.86.
Top Alcohol Dragster -- Dan Mercier, 5.358, 261.67 def. Arthur Gallant, 5.386, 270.37.
Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Frank Manzo, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.564, 256.26 def. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 5.591, 258.81.
Competition Eliminator -- Arnie Martel, Chevy Cobalt, 9.453, 100.97 def. Bob Wise, Pontiac Firebird, foul.
Super Stock -- Dan Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 9.919, 125.17 def. Edward Matsko, Camaro, 10.082, 132.80.
Super Comp -- Doug Doll, Dragster, 9.278, 125.96 def. John Smith, Dragster, 9.335, 170.19.
Super Gas -- Tom Stalba Jr, Chevy Corvette, 9.918, 153.72 def. Patrick Dehner, Corvette, 9.906, 155.54.