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JOLIET, Illinois (June 2, 2018) – Don Schumacher Racing dominated the Funny Car field during qualifying at the JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals, clinching the top three spots. Matt Hagan leads the class, with Ron Capps and Jack Beckman holding court in the second and third qualifying positions. The top three seeded drivers blasted to the front of the pack in their Mopar-powered Dodge machines during Friday’s second qualifying session.
 
Hagan, a three-time Route 66 Nationals Funny Car champion, raced his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T to a pass of 3.917-seconds at 326.79 mph to qualify for the preliminary pole and bank three bonus points, after opening qualifying with a 4.027 mark that ranked him fifth. He held the top spot through the final two qualifying sessions on Saturday, ending with a solid 3.991 run.
 
This is the two-time Funny Car world champion’s second No. 1 qualifier of the 2018 season, second at Route 66 Raceway, and 32nd of his career.
 
Hagan, who claimed the No. 1 spot at the 2018 season-opener before going on to race to victory, feels confident in his team’s ability to trade in their green No. 1 qualifier hats for yellow winner’s circle hats on Sunday.
 
“Our Mopar Express Lane Dodge is running strong,” he said. “We can go down there and throw down a good number. The confidence has definitely grown. We have all of the power that we need.
 
“We’ve changed everything. To start the year off we had a whole different track prep than we do now, so we had to regroup and make big changes to this Mopar Funny Car. Obviously, it’s taken a few runs, and taken a few races to get there, but I feel like we’ve closed the gap on (points leader) Courtney (Force) now.
 
“Blessed to have that No. 1 spot right now. Everyone thinks these Chevys are running up front, but we’ve got these Mopars going again. Just give (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) enough time and he’ll figure it out. I like him being in our corner and knowing that we’re going to get there, it’s just a matter of runs.”
 
Hagan begins his campaign for his 28th career victory with a round one matchup against No. 16 qualifier Jonnie Lindberg. Hagan and the Mopar team will have the advantage of lane choice to start the day.

Qualified: No. 1 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 16 Jonnie Lindberg

The Results:
Q1:4.027 E.T. at 317.49 MPH
Q2: 3.917 E.T. at 326.79 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.861 E.T. at 161.59 MPH
Q4: 3.991 E.T. at 317.12 MPH

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Next NHRA Event 2018

FC Mello Yello Points

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Courtney Force (1197)
2. Ron Capps (1032)
3. Robert Hight (1024)
4. Matt Hagan (1001)
5. Jack Beckman (967)
6. J.R. Todd (863)
7. Tommy Johnson Jr. (819)
8. John Force (807)
9. Shawn Langdon (680)
10. Bob Tasca III (656)