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Qualified: No. 15 (4.169 E.T. at 255.92 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 4.058 E.T. at 317.12 MPH defeated by Bob Tasca III 3.998 E.T. at 319.37 MPH

Race Recap:
The 2018 AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals were anything but kind to Matt Hagan. The two-time Texas Motorplex winner struggled to make a full pass under power throughout qualifying, placing Hagan uncharacteristically in the 15th position to start race day.
 
Hagan sought to salvage the weekend on Sunday, but despite making a full pull (4.058-seconds) was unable to get past Countdown spoiler Bob Tasca III’s 3.998 E.T. in round one.
 
Despite the early exit, Hagan remains in seventh departing Ennis, Texas.

Quotable:
“We have to work to put out some of the Kalitta and Force cars and we need to step it up and go some rounds to put ourselves in a better position in the championship chase. We’re working hard with some new combinations and we have a lot of help from our teammate and we’re moving forward. We’re going to stay positive and go into Charlotte with a game plan and grow and have a good weekend for Mopar and Pennzoil and DSR.”

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Qualified: No. 11 (3.967 E.T. at 320.13 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 4.585 E.T. at 201.19 MPH defeated by Tim Wilkerson 4.348 E.T. at 251.67 MPH

Race Recap:
Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver and No. 11 qualifier Matt Hagan faced No. 6 Tim Wilkerson in first-round eliminations at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Hagan, a three-time runner-up at St. Louis, jumped to a small starting line advantage, but was unable to hold the lead. Both drivers hazed the tires around the 300-foot mark, but Hagan had to work overtime to keep his car away from first the wall and then the centerline, while Wilkerson was able to recover and collect the round win. Hagan, a two-time NHRA Funny Car world champion, exits St. Louis seventh in the Countdown quest.

Quotable:
"We're going to test tomorrow and change some stuff up. We've been up against it a little bit with what we've been trying to do, so we're going to make some different changes and start moving forward with some things. At the end of the day, this is the same group of guys that I won a championship with, I runnered-up with, and won a bunch of races with. It's a fuel car; stuff changes, things happen, you make adjustments and you bounce back from adversity. Like (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) said, we're going to grab this thing by the horns and wrestle it to the ground and come out with the best opportunity and chance we can for the next four races to turn on win lights for our sponsors, and obviously try to win some races and try to win this championship. It's not over. I've seen crazy, crazy stuff happen, but I've also seen stuff come together and click, and you're like, 'Wow! Where's that been all season.' I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and making some runs here, making some test hits and hopefully get a handle on this race car."

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Qualified: No. 10 (3.960 E.T. at 321.12 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 4.164 E.T. at 257.97 MPH defeated by John Force 4.007 E.T. at 326.87 MPH

Race Recap:
The two-time Funny Car world champion’s campaign for a third title got off to a rocky start at the first race of the NHRA playoff series.
 
Matt Hagan entered the race weekend fresh off of a runner-up finish and ranked second in the Funny Car standings. The 2014 Reading champion qualified 10th for race day and faced John Force in the opening round. Hagan and Force were locked in a close race until just past halftrack when Hagan’s machine slowed to a 4.164 E.T. and Force was able to take the win with his 4.007 second pass.

Hagan will enter Countdown race No. 2 ranked fifth.

Quotable:
“Life is full of bounce back situations. You have to be down in order to be up sometimes. Obviously, going out first round like that is not how we wanted to start this Dodge race. At the end of the day, it comes down to digging deep and working hard and figuring out what the issues are and racing our car the way we know how. I came in this morning thinking that we really had the car to beat John (Force). He’s a good racer and I have a lot of respect for him, but at the end of the day, I feel like I have the best crew chief out there, and I think that’ll show at the end of the season. We’ve got another race coming up really quick, we don’t have to worry about sitting on this loss for a whole weekend. Thank you so much to Mopar and Dodge for what they put into this deal.”

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Qualified: No. 10
The Competition: No. 7 John ForceThe Results: 

Q1: 8.756 E.T. at 77.86 MPH
Q2: 3.960 E.T. at 321.12 MPH
Q3: 4.556 E.T. at 189.52 MPH
Q4: 4.973 E.T. at 154.23 MPH

Quotable: “Tomorrow’s race day, it’s the Countdown, anything can happen. Got a good team behind us, working hard, and we’re going to put this Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the winner’s circle.”
MATT HAGAN
Driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
 
Qualified: No. 3 (3.943 E.T. at 324.05 MPH)
 
The Results:
E1: 4.401 E.T. at 217.56 MPH defeated Jonnie Lindberg 9.208 E.T. at 80.50 MPH
E2: 4.397 E.T. at 219.58 MPH defeated Courtney Force 4.557 E.T. at 219.15 MPH
E3: 4.129 E.T. at 298.60 MPH defeated Shawn Langdon 4.148 E.T. at 307.16 MPH
E4: 4.141 E.T. at 300.60 MPH defeated by J.R. Todd 4.062 E.T. at 311.70 MPH
 
Race Recap:
Matt Hagan raced the new Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to its first ever final-round appearance at the 64th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals.
 
Hagan earned the No. 3 starting spot and the 2016 event winner at Indy began race day by defeating Jonnie Lindberg in a challenging run that saw Hagan deftly manage traction and engine issues to lock down the round win. Matched up against points leader Courtney Force in the quarterfinals, both drivers hazed the tires near halftrack with Hagan once again using his driving skills to pedal his car to the finish line for his 330th round win.
 
In the semifinals, three-time 2018 race winner Hagan recorded his best run of the day, a 4.129-second elapsed time at 298.60 mph, to knock off Shawn Langdon and advance to his sixth final round of the year and 53rd of his career. Lacking lane choice in the final against J.R. Todd, Hagan was first off the starting line but Todd soon pulled ahead, and Hagan’s solid 4.141 second run wasn’t enough to close the gap. Hagan will start second when the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin at the next race, the Dodge NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pennsylvania.
 
Quotable:
"We’re going into the Countdown with some good points and a good lead on some of the heavy hitters. All we can focus on now is these next six races coming up. They’re important, but like I was telling my guys, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in points. We all want to do the best job we can and want nothing more than to put this new Hellcat body in the winner’s circle, and I feel like we’re going to do it two or three times in the Countdown, it’s just a matter of time. My take on it is to have some fun. The Countdown is always tough. You’ve got to figure out how to just enjoy the ride. We all deal with pressure and different things in a different way, but for me, it’s just rising to the occasion when the opportunity is there. We’re going to make opportunities for ourselves, we’ll capitalize on them, and hopefully turn that it into win lights on race day."

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Next NHRA Event 2018

FC Mello Yello Points

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Robert Hight (2445)
2. J.R. Todd (2434)
3. Ron Capps (2336)
4. Tim Wilkerson (2334)
5. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2296)
6. Courtney Force (2264)
7. Matt Hagan (2241)
8. Jack Beckman (2229)
9. John Force (2204)
10. Shawn Langdon (2152)