Matt Hagan
Qualified: No. 8 (3.974 E.T. at 325.30 MPH)
The Results: E1: 3.922 E.T. at 329.67 MPH defeated by Bob Tasca III 3.920 E.T. at 330.47 MPH
Race Recap:
Matt Hagan began his title defense at one of the few remaining venues on the NHRA tour where a victory has eluded him. Hagan, who was presented with his 2020 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship ring on Saturday during qualifying at the NHRA Gatornationals, has come close to a Gainesville Raceway triumph, finishing as the runner-up in 2018, but had yet to seal-the-deal. He was hoping his luck would change on Sunday at the 2021 season-opener, but once again he felt a Gatornationals victory slip through his fingers as he found himself on the wrong side of a really close drag race.
Hagan qualified the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye eighth to draw Bob Tasca III in round one. Hagan and Tasca were nearly even leaving the starting line with Hagan clocking a .072 reaction time to Tasca’s .074, and both drivers posted nearly identical E.T.s, (Hagan, 3.922, Tasca, 3.920), but Tasca narrowly claimed the upset win with a 0.0001-second margin of victory, ending the champ’s day early.
“We had a good test session in West Palm Beach to kick off the year and we were on the bad side of a really, really good drag race today to (Bob) Tasca. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tasca goes out and wins it. That’s a good car. It’s tough out there and we were on the tough side of the ladder. We would have had (Ron) Capps, our teammate, in the second round. It was going to be a dog fight all day. I have to say a lot about (my crew chief) Dickie Venables and (assistant crew chief) Mike Knudsen and this Dodge Mopar team and their leadership. The guys worked late working through some gremlins and put a really good race car under me. We’ll be back out here for the next one and will get back after it.”

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FC Points

Unofficial NHRA Championship Standings

Funny Car

1 J.R. Todd 114
2 Robert Hight 95
3 Cruz Pedregon 73
4 Bob Tasca III 72
5 Ron Capps 64
6 Alexis DeJoria 60
7 Tim Wilkerson 57
8 John Force 56
9 Matt Hagan 34
10 Chad Green 32
10 Paul Lee 32
10 Blake Alexander 32



Hagan Cattle Co