Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2006

Toyo Tires Nationals Reading, Penn.

(SpeedZone's coverage is sponsored by Dave Barcelone's Truck Town Trailer Sales)

Photos will be posted Monday or Tuesday (courtesy David Smith and Greg Gage)

Photo Gallery is here

(results courtesy NHRA and DRC)


(results courtesy NHRA and DRC)

Sunday eliminations

Photo Gallery is here

Rookie J.R. Todd put himself in the driver's seat for the Auto Club Road to the Future award Sunday with his third Top Fuel victory of the year.
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.

There was movement at the top in the POWERade Series point standings as 13-time champ John Force inched past Ron Capps in Funny Car and Antron Brown regained the points lead over Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle; Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) maintained narrow points leads with three events remaining.

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."

Burkart ran a gauntlet of superstars on the day, beating former points leader Ron Capps, reigning series champion Gary Scelzi, new points leader John Force, and Hight, who had won the last two national events. The final was a thriller with both Burkart and Hight losing traction before they left the launch pad. The pedalfest was on from there and Burkart managed to reel his machine in first, winning with a dubious 7.528 at 203.92 mph in his Halvoline/Checker, Schuck's, Kragen Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

"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.

Pro Stock's potential national record was passed from Anderson to Greg Stanfield to Jason Line and back to Anderson before finally settling in Line's hands. For that, the championship leader gains 20 bonus points. But Anderson did get the win over a red-lighting Greg Stanfield in the finale to gain a hard-fought 22 points in the standings. He now trails his Summit Racing Pontiac teammate by 56 points.

"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."

After Angelle Sampey set a national elapsed time record on her U.S. Army Suzuki during qualifying, it seemed likely that the winner's circle would have a female touch, but not many people would have thought Stoffer would be the one hoisting the trophy. Nevertheless, that's exactly what happened as the Geico Motorcycle Suzuki rider powered past everyone, including Sampey herself, to collect her third career win and first since last year's Houston event.

"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.

Points

Top Fuel

1. Doug Kalitta 1,440
2. Tony Schumacher 1,388
3. Brandon Bernstein 1,378
4. Melanie Troxel 1,290
5. David Grubnic 1,167
6. Rod Fuller 1,163
7. Larry Dixon 1,012
8. Morgan Lucas 947
9. Hillary Will 917
10. J.R. Todd 879
11. Cory McClenathan 857
12. David Baca 810
13. Doug Herbert 769
14. Bob Vandergriff 701
15. Clay Millican 398

Funny Car

1. John Force 1,387
2. Ron Capps 1,386
3. Robert Hight 1,352
4. Tony Pedregon 1,241
5. Eric Medlen 1,179
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. 1,143
7. Gary Scelzi 1,108
8. Whit Bazemore 956
9. Phil Burkart 899
10. Cruz Pedregon 844
11. Del Worsham 809
12. Gary Densham 681
13. Tony Bartone 673
14. Mike Ashley 668
15. Bob Gilbertson 641

Pro Stock

1. Jason Line 1,453
2. Greg Anderson 1,397
3. Dave Connolly 1,270
4. Kurt Johnson 1,131
5. Mike Edwards 1,128
6. Allen Johnson 1,073
7. Jim Yates 1,003
8. Greg Stanfield 972
9. V. Gaines 916
10. Larry Morgan 908
11. Richie Stevens 892
12. Warren Johnson 787
13. Erica Enders 685
14. Ron Krisher 650
15. Tom Martino 452

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Antron Brown 971
2. Andrew Hines 944
3. Angelle Sampey 907
4. Chip Ellis 825
5. Karen Stoffer 752
6. Matt Smith 731
7. Ryan Schnitz 666
8. Tom Bradford 599
9. Geno Scali 581
10. Matt Guidera 557
11. Craig Treble 524
12. Michael Phillips 515
13. GT Tonglet 510
14. Steve Johnson 468
15. Shawn Gann 462

Final Qualifying

Top Fuel

1 1 Tony Schumacher, Long Grove IL, Hadman-TFX 4.440@ 327.27& 331.85
2 3 Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.488 321.88 330.39
3 10 Rod Fuller, Las Vegas NV, Hadman-TFX 4.518 328.78 328.78
4 7 Brandon Bernstein, Lake Forest CA, McKinney-TFX 4.528 325.69 329.50
5 4 David Grubnic, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.533 326.95 326.95
6 91 Larry Dixon, Indianapolis IN, McKinney-TFX 4.541 327.74 328.54
7 12 Bob Vandergriff, Alpharetta GA, McKinney-BAE 4.547 323.50 323.50
8 373 J.R. Todd, Avon IN, Hadman-TFX 4.549 324.98 328.06
9 9 Cory McClenathan, Lake Havasu City AZ, Hadman- 4.550 317.64 317.64
10 763 Hillary Will, Ypsilanti MI, Attac-TFX 4.560 322.19 322.88
11 507 Melanie Troxel, Avon IN, Hadman-TFX 4.566 319.37 327.74
12 5 Morgan Lucas, Brownsburg IN, Hadman-TFX 4.662 299.26 299.26
13 13 David Baca, Brentwood CA, McKinney-BAE 4.674 312.28 312.28
14 6 Doug Herbert, Lincolnton NC, McKinney-BAE 4.701 291.82 291.82
15 394 Luigi Novelli, Crete IL, McKinney-TFX 4.837 285.95 285.95

Funny Car

1 503 Tommy Johnson Jr., Avon IN, '05 Monte Carlo 4.693@ 327.27 327.27
2 180 Mike Ashley, Melville NY, '06 Charger 4.694 330.96 330.96
3 4 Eric Medlen, Yorba Linda CA, '05 Mustang 4.705 325.69 325.69
4 1 Gary Scelzi, Fresno CA, '06 Charger 4.709 328.62 328.62
5 28 Ron Capps, Carlsbad CA, '06 Charger 4.717 317.42 323.97
6 7 Tony Pedregon, Chino Hills CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.723 313.07 321.12
7 5 Robert Hight, Yorba Linda CA, '05 Mustang 4.739 325.69 325.69
8 711 Jack Beckman, Brownsburg IN, '06 Charger 4.756 325.45 325.45
9 3 John Force, Yorba Linda CA, '05 Mustang 4.761 320.43 323.58
10 347 Tim Wilkerson, Springfield IL, '05 Monte Carlo 4.777 319.98 319.98
11 10 Cruz Pedregon, Camarillo CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.792 308.99 308.99
12 156 Phil Burkart, Yorkville NY, '05 Monte Carlo 4.794 321.88 324.44
13 782 Gary Densham, Bellflower CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.829 321.50 321.50
14 319 Scott Kalitta, Ypsilanti MI, '07 Solara 4.840 320.97 320.97
15 8 Del Worsham, Chino Hills CA, '05 Monte Carlo 4.843 321.19 321.19
16 388 Jim Head, Columbus OH, '05 Stratus 4.854 308.00 308.99

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 427 Tony Bartone, Long Island City NY, '05 Monte C 5.022 282.42 292.96

Pro Stock

1 7 Greg Stanfield, Bossier City LA, '06 GTO 6.621@ 208.04 208.04
2 1 Greg Anderson, Mooresville NC, '06 GTO 6.626 208.91^ 208.91
3 44 Mike Edwards, Coweta OK, '06 GTO 6.632 208.04 208.36
4 3 Jason Line, Mooresville NC, '06 GTO 6.633 208.14 208.14
5 203 Tommy Lee, Mooresville NC, '06 Cobalt 6.634 207.62 207.62
6 186 Tom Martino, Farmingdale NJ, '06 GTO 6.637 208.07 208.07
7 8 Richie Stevens, New Orleans LA, '06 Stratus 6.640 207.11 207.40
8 93 Allen Johnson, Greeneville TN, '06 Stratus 6.645 207.72 207.72
9 10 Jim Yates, Occoquan VA, '06 GTO 6.648 206.95 206.95
10 2 Kurt Johnson, Sugar Hill GA, '06 Cobalt 6.649 207.66 207.66
11 3351 Dave Howard, Braidwood IL, '06 Cobalt 6.649 207.37 207.43
12 5 Dave Connolly, Elyria OH, '06 Cobalt 6.651 207.30 207.66
13 357 Larry Morgan, Newark OH, '06 Stratus 6.653 206.86 207.40
14 4 Warren Johnson, Sugar Hill GA, '06 GTO 6.659 206.83 206.83
15 103 Max Naylor, New Buffalo PA, '06 Stratus 6.662 206.83 206.89
16 1186 Dave Northrop, Perkasie PA, '05 Stratus 6.664 206.57 206.57

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 387 Mark Pawuk, Akron OH, '06 GTO 6.671 207.05 207.05
18 202 Tommy Brown, Gloucester VA, '06 GTO 6.679 206.42 207.27
19 55 V. Gaines, Lakewood CO, '06 Stratus 6.681 207.43 207.43
20 136 Bob Benza, Briarcliff Manor NY, '06 Cobalt 6.700 206.83 206.83
21 9 Ron Krisher, Warren OH, '06 Cobalt 6.701 206.26 206.26
22 772 Tony Rizzo, Tucson AZ, '06 Cobalt 6.717 205.38 205.38
23 1214 Matt Hartford, Phoenix AZ, '06 Cobalt 6.852 181.72 197.05
24 1013 John Mahoney, Hope RI, '02 Cavalier 6.936 198.12 198.12

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1 3 Angelle Sampey, Mathews LA, Suzuki GSXR 6.939 191.10 191.10
2 1 Andrew Hines, Brownsburg IN, Harley V-Rod 6.950 192.28 193.16
3 205 Shawn Gann, Stoneville NC, Suzuki 6.952 190.65 190.65
4 10 Karen Stoffer, Smith NV, Suzuki 6.970 193.10 193.10
5 204 Matt Smith, King NC, Buell 6.975 190.78 190.78
6 9 Steve Johnson, Irondale AL, Suzuki 7.001 188.70 188.73
7 8 Geno Scali, Palatine IL, Suzuki 7.009 192.00 192.00
8 7 Craig Treble, Hensley AR, Suzuki GSXR 7.009 190.08 191.05
9 4 Ryan Schnitz, Decatur IN, Buell 7.011 189.04 189.04
10 731 Matt Guidera, Rocklin CA, Buell 7.011 187.83 187.83
11 6 Antron Brown, Indianapolis IN, Suzuki GSXR 7.025 191.05 191.05
12 133 Paul Gast, Grand Island NY, Suzuki 7.046 186.36 186.82
13 5 Chip Ellis, Americus GA, Buell 7.047 187.81 187.81
14 412 Michael Phillips, Baton Rouge LA, Suzuki GSXR 7.049 193.18 193.18
15 2 GT Tonglet, Metairie LA, Harley V-Rod 7.049 189.07 189.07
16 303 Tom Bradford, Eagle WI, Buell 7.050 189.52 189.52

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 371 Wes Wells, Greenwood IN, Suzuki 7.125 186.59 187.00
18 101 Connie Cohen, Bristol CT, Buell 7.160 184.85 184.85
19 310 Joe DeSantis, Rootstown OH, Suzuki 7.167 185.97 185.97
20 235 Hector Arana, Milltown IN, Suzuki 7.233 183.64 183.64

TAD

1 4 A/FD Bill Reichert, Owosso MI, Bowen-Reich 5.299 268.28 268.28
2 8 A/FD Arthur Gallant, Boxboro MA, Dan Page-BAE 5.411 260.41 260.41
3 185 TA/D Mike Kosky, Cuddy PA, K & K-BAE 5.459 216.10 216.10
4 15 A/FD Dan Mercier, Montreal PQ, McKinney-BAE 5.467 260.01 260.01
5 1320 B/AD Wayne Morris, Lincoln University PA, Spi 5.474 262.49 262.49
6 1712 B/AD Dave DeAngelis, Middlesex NJ, Precision- 5.479 259.46 259.46
7 149 TA/D Mark Albert, Baldwin PA, Albert-KB 5.480 259.76 259.76
8 39 B/AD Jeff Veale, Hannon ON, Precision-BAE 5.519 256.94 256.94
9 110 A/FD Rich McPhillips, Phoenixville PA, Precis 5.657 250.37 250.37
10 1072 B/AD Bruce Horner, Bergenfield NJ, ProStart-C 5.661 248.25 248.25
11 118 B/AD Ken Winward, Wilmington DE, Dragster-KB 5.724 241.15 241.15
12 19 A/FD John Finke, Selkirk NY, McKinney-BAE 6.153 244.74 244.74
13 308 B/AD Dave Hedges Jr., Plainwell MI, Spitzer-B NT

TAFC

1 2 Frank Manzo, Morganville NJ, '06 Monte Carlo 5.564 258.27 258.27
2 1777 Bob Tasca III, Cranston RI, '06 Mustang 5.621 256.99 256.99
3 8 David Ray, Plaistow NH, '02 Mustang 5.635 255.82 255.82
4 1 Bob Newberry, Schenectady NY, '05 Monte Carlo 5.676 253.66 254.52
5 118 DJ Cox Jr., Whiteford MD, '02 Firebird 5.688 252.66 252.66
6 1350 Paul Gill, Brockton MA, '01 Avenger 5.699 230.92 230.92
7 15 Mickey Ferro, Stamford CT, '01 Camaro 5.758 252.76 252.76
8 37 Bobby Martin, Beaver Falls PA, '01 Avenger 5.791 239.19 239.19
9 207 Bruce Mullins, Fredericksburg VA, '05 Monte Ca 5.792 247.25 247.25
10 155 Duane Beers, Monroe NJ, '02 Camaro 5.801 239.61 243.37
11 125 Eric Lourie, Terryville CT, '01 Camaro 5.804 245.76 245.76
12 111 Frank Schuster, Chesterfield NJ, '02 Firebird 5.813 250.46 250.46
13 182 Bruce Peterson, Wappinger Falls NY, '03 Corvet 5.871 243.90 243.90
14 308 Marc White, Glendale Hts. IL, '04 Firebird 6.039 236.05 236.05
15 137 Chris Brown, Ivyland PA, '06 Stratus 6.422 231.24 231.24
16 162 Jeff McCulloch, Roseneath ON, '98 Camaro 6.724 168.14 168.14

------------ Not Qualified ------------

17 189 John Headley, Newportville PA, '00 Mustang 7.179 133.51 133.51

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