ENNIS, Texas --
In fact, for the first time in NHRA history the reigning NHRA POWERade Series world champions were a stunning 0-4 in final rounds at the same event, the O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex.
In Top Fuel, Todd brought back the same gesture he used at the top end of the track in 2006, when he defeated the five-time U.S. Army-backed world champion three times before team changes yielded a dry spell that stretched a year and a half and ended with this win.
Todd earned the first victory for the two-car Lucas Oil team on a hole-shot, turning in a .068 reaction time at the starting line to Schumacher's .084. He drove his Lucas Oil Octane Booster dragster to a 3.912 at 309.84 to a quicker and faster Schumacher, who piloted his U.S. Army dragster to a 3.910 at 310.63.
"If there was one guy I'd want to beat out here every day, it'd be him because he's the toughest guy out here, and if you beat him, you've accomplished something at the end of the day," Todd said.
"Beating John Force and then beating Tony Pedregon, both champions, right? To be a champion you got to beat the champions, and that's our goal," Wilkerson said. "That's what we came out to do this year. We're not gonna back down from that goal."
In Pro Stock, Greg Stanfield earned a shocking victory over Jeg Coughlin Jr. to keep himself in contention for the 2008 world championship title. Stanfield and Coughlin were tied at the gate with twin .015 reaction times, but Stanfield ran the defending NHRA POWERade Series world champion down to reach the finish line first in 6.678 at 206.35.
Stanfield became the fourth driver in NHRA history to win event titles in five different categories.
"He's been through so much," Stanfield said. "This whole team's been through so much. We had a lot of engine failures on the Western Swing and we really haven't been able to get our team back to full steam. I felt like coming into this race we were probably 70 percent where we needed to be, as far as equipment. We've struggled and struggled and hopefully it's a turn-around."
"There's still a few little hiccup things that happened," Rivas said. "That's why I keep giving God the glory, because my lights today were ridiculous. You can't win Pro Stock usually with (a) .176 light, and .117 and a .091 in the final."
Sunday's final results from the 23rd annual O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex. The race is the 20th of 24 in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series-
Top Fuel -- J.R. Todd, 3.912 seconds, 309.84 mph def. Tony Schumacher, 3.910 seconds, 310.63 mph.
Funny Car -- Tim Wilkerson, Chevy Impala, 4.172, 297.55 def. Tony Pedregon, Impala, 4.206, 295.98.
Pro Stock -- Greg Stanfield, Pontiac GXP, 6.678, 206.35 def. Jeg Coughlin, Chevy Cobalt, 6.686, 205.51.
Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Chris Rivas, Buell, 7.024, 183.97 def. Matt Smith, Buell, 7.098, 187.00.
Top Alcohol Dragster -- Jim Whiteley, 5.333, 268.12 def. Kate Harker, 5.423, 265.33.
Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Von Smith, Ford Mustang, 5.632, 253.37 def. Jay Payne, Mustang, 5.806, 252.47.
Competition Eliminator -- David Rampy, Bantam Roadster, 7.409, 150.46 def. Scott Benham, Pontiac Sunfire, 9.698, 105.05.
Stock Eliminator -- Jerry Emmons, Chevy Chevelle, 10.469, 119.45 def. Slate Cummings, Chevy Camaro, 10.987, 117.57.
Super Comp -- Richard Pierson, Dragster, 8.907, 161.98 def. Austin Williams, Dragster, 8.886, 154.09.
Super Gas -- Tommy Phillips, Chevy Corvette, 9.926, 148.05 def. Ross Laris, Corvette, 9.940, 159.97.
Super Street -- Greg Parson, Chevy Nova, 10.906, 128.43 def. Larry Blankenship, Chevy Camaro, 10.996, 138.90.