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MADISON, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2017) - Matt Hagan could have remembered his second round match-up against Robert Hight Sunday in the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis as a pivotal race in his quest for a third Funny Car world championship.
 
But after having the quickest car in the first round when his Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger R/T Powered by Pennzoil completed a run in 3.838 seconds at 334.73 mph, his Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car suffered a loss of traction like several others did on the cool, sunny afternoon.
 
Hagan was especially disappointed because Hight, the pole winner, could only must a time of 3.919 that was very beatable.
 
"We were just pressing really hard on race day," said Hagan, who is ranked fourth but 157 points out of the lead at the midpoint of the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff.
 
"We went 3.83 in the first round and were low of the round. We just made a few adjustments after that for the heat. We were kind of like, 'let's leave it alone.'
 
"Teams ahead of us in Top Fuel were swapping lanes after a couple smoked the tires. We were the second pair of Funny Cars and switched to the left lane after we ran so strong in the right lane the run before.
 
"I'm not saying that that was good or bad, but it didn't hold our setup? It's race day, man. You have to press. You're running Robert Hight and they're pressing. They blew their stuff up trying to run hard
 
"We've got three more races in the Countdown, we've got to make all three of them count."
 
After opening the Countdown with races on three successive weekends, the Mello Yello Series has a week off before resuming Oct. 13-15 at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.

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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)