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Qualified: No. 2 (33.907 E.T. at 327.74 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 4.286 E.T. at 301.00 MPH defeated Dave Richards 4.421 E.T. at 212.86 MPH
E2: 3.914 E.T. at 328.78 MPH defeated Blake Alexander 13.014 E.T. at 54.58 MPH
E3: 3.981 E.T. at 321.12 MPH defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. 3.941 E.T. at 321.96 MPH

Race Recap:
Matt Hagan entered his sponsor’s race armed with the Funny Car point lead. By blasting the Pennzoil Synthetics Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the quickest run of the opening qualifying session, Hagan captured three valuable bonus points and earned the No. 2 starting position.
 
Hagan began his race day with an ugly round win, pedaling to victory when his machine shook, rattled, and smoked the tires early into the run. His opponent, Dave Richards, also encountered issues but Hagan’s mastery behind the wheel enabled him to claim the win over his competitor.
 
Hagan and teammate Jack Beckman have been taking turns sitting atop the Funny Car championship leaderboard for the past two months, and after learning Beckman had bowed out early in round one, Hagan knew he had to capitalize on the opportunity to stack up as many points as possible. It was ‘mission accomplished’ in round two when Hagan navigated the Pennzoil Dodge to a smooth 3.914 E.T. to defeat Blake Alexander who smoked the tires right at the hit of the throttle. The semifinal round showdown between Hagan and teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. was a critical round for both championship-contending drivers. Both drivers made solid runs in their Dodge Hellcats with Johnson coming out on top.
 
A semifinal appearance coupled with a strong qualifying performance allowed Hagan to maintain the point lead heading into the final race of the season. He will carry a 42-point lead over Johnson, and a 43-point lead over Beckman.

Quotable:
“A really good weekend here in Houston with the Pennzoil colors again. We’d have liked to have been in the final round, but we picked up some points this weekend. It was a close race with TJ (Tommy Johnson, Jr.) in the semis, and I have all the confidence in the world in my crew and Dickie Venables rolling into Vegas. I’m confident we’re going to do what we need to do and win this thing. I’ve been on both sides of it. I’ve led, and I’ve chased, and I’d rather lead than be chasing going into Vegas. It’s a hard task trying to make up points. I’m proud of my guys to put ourselves in the position to make some ground this weekend and extend the lead.”

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