Qualified: No. 9 (3.913 E.T. at 333.66 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.899 E.T. 332.02 MPH defeated Shawn Langdon 3.961 E.T. at 329.91 MPH
E2: 8.623 E.T. at 79.91 MPH defeated by Ron Capps 3.916 E.T. at 329.18 MPH

Race Recap:
Matt Hagan has raced to a semifinal finish or better at six of the last seven events and was hoping to continue his trend of ‘going rounds’ at the first event of the Countdown to the Championship. He began his quest for a second Reading victory with a match-up versus fellow Countdown contender, Shawn Langdon. It was apparent crew chief Dickie Venables wasn’t taking Langdon lightly when he tuned Hagan’s MOPAR-powered Dodge Hellcat to a stout 3.899-second pass, which held up to be low E.T. of race day. The two-time Funny Car world champion then drew teammate Ron Capps in the quarterfinals, and despite the advantage of lane choice, was unable to defeat Capps when his machine annihilated the tires as soon as he stood on the gas. Hagan attempted to pedal it, but Capps’ clean pass enabled him to take the easy round win.

“First round losses are the kiss of death with the Countdown. We got past the first round, and we have five races left going into St. Louis. It was a hot, greasy track today. Avoiding that first round loss is key, and we did that. We had a good, fast race car beside us with Ron and we had to push it a little bit. They went 3.91, which was low of the session, and our lap wouldn’t hold. We’ll roll into St. Louis with a great MOPAR team, and there’s a lot of racing left in 2019.”

Next NHRA Event

FC Points

Unofficial NHRA Championship Standings

Funny Car

1 Matt Hagan 1020
2 Tommy Johnson Jr 915
3 Jack Beckman 848
4 Ron Capps 828
5 Bob Tasca III 679
6 J.R. Todd 663
7 Tim Wilkerson 615
8 Alexis DeJoria 605
9 Paul Lee 464
10 Cruz Pedregon 436