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Photo by Nastase - Matt Hagan collected his third win of the 2017 season when he outlasted Courtney Force to win the NHRA New England Nationals. It was Hagan’s first win in Epping and the 25th of his career. That breaks a tie with teammate Jack Beckman for ninth on the all-time Funny Car wins list. Hagan saved his best race-day run for last, powering to a 3.897 to defeat Courtney Force, who slowed to a 3.92 after running low e.t. of eliminations in the semifinals.

The best ending was when two-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane 2017 Dodge Charger R/T team led by Dickie Venables stopped a losing streak to John Force in the opening round. Hagan then went on to win the New England title by beating Force's daughter, Courtney Force, in the final round of eliminations at Epping, N.H., for his third event title of the season. J. Force had beaten Hagan in their last four meetings.
 
Hagan powered to the 25th victory of his career and third of the season with a 3.897 pass at 332.59 in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger Funny Car to defeat C. Force who ran a 3.927 at 332.34.  
 
"I knew we had a great racecar today and the conditions were great so we knew we would be better than our qualifying times," Hagan said. "Everything went the way it should have today, and things seemed to fall in place for us." 
 
"Obviously, you have to race the racetrack, but you race the racer as well. People say they don't think about who is beside you. But I think that's crap. Everybody does. Their cadence and tendencies and what they're going to do and different things like that."
 
Hagan's team stumbled on both qualifying runs Friday but rallied on Saturday to qualify fourth.
 
"We didn't go down the racetrack (Friday) and you're thinking, 'oh man, what do we do?' But Dickie was like, 'man we're better than that.' So, he reeled it back in and made two really nice laps on Saturday and built a lot of confidence coming into Sunday."

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Next NHRA Event 2018

FC Mello Yello Points

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Robert Hight (2548)
2. Ron Capps (2533)
3. Courtney Force (2423)
4. Jack Beckman (2396)
5. Matt Hagan (2387)
6. John Force (2306)
7. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2276)
8. Tim Wilkerson (2237)
9. J.R. Todd (2233)
10. Cruz Pedregon (2163)