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BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 13, 2017) – The six-race NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship kicks off this weekend at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte. Two-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan knows to expect fierce competition.

Hagan enters the Countdown third in Funny Car points standings, trailing leader and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps by 30 points. But with the points reset and the top-10 competitors separated by 100 points from top to bottom it will be a fight to the finish.

“All these cars out here right now, it’s a throw down every run every race,” Hagan said. “The competition is the toughest it’s been probably in the history of the sport. The years of domination are over. Anybody can win any round. It has to be your day, it has to be right. There’s a million ways to lose out here but there’s only one way to win.”

The regular season ended two weeks ago near Indianapolis where Hagan was the No. 1 qualifier but was upset in the opening round of competition by the No. 16 qualifier.

“Hopefully we got all of our bad luck out of the way. Back to back problems in the first round on race day is unacceptable and we’re looking forward to a fresh start here in the Countdown.”

The team led by crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Michael Knudsen has three event titles in four final round appearances this season and will debut a new look this weekend at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte.

Hagan will be piloting the Freightliner Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car this weekend that carries the names of more than 150 CDL-licensed drivers to celebrate Truck Driver Appreciation month.

“We’ve been doing this special scheme with Freightliner the past few years and it’s just a really cool deal to honor these guys and gals that are going up and down the road. It’s hard work and to show them some love is pretty awesome. I’m just happy to be a small part of it.”

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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)