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NHRA Drag Racing will return to the world stage in a major way in mid-July, relaunching its Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and associated programs with events on back-to-back weekends at famed Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis that will serve as the launch point for 15 more NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events that will follow.

 

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There might not be a single NHRA competitor who wants to get back on the track more than Christiansburg’s Matt Hagan.

It’s not that he’s bored, exactly. With his sport temporarily shut down and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order in effect, Hagan has plenty of work to occupy him on his 2,700-acre cattle farm and 100-acre hemp farm in the New River Valley. Spending extra time with his wife, Rachel, and four children is a rare gift for the 37-year-old driver this time of year, too.

But his Funny Car team had something special going in 2020. Hagan knows it. And he can’t wait for the opportunity to get back out there and prove it.

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Qualified: No. 1 (3.859 E.T. at 331.61 MPH)

The Results:
E1: Foul (made contact with a timing block), defeated by Jeff Diehl 

Race Recap:
By earning the No. 1 starting position for the third consecutive event, Matt Hagan and the Mopar team put themselves in prime position to defend their 2019 NHRA Arizona Nationals title. Hagan began Sunday morning by lining up opposite No. 16 qualifier Jeff Diehl in round one, and it was clear crew chief Dickie Venables wasn’t taking their first opponent lightly. The Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat was on a tremendous run but charging hard to the left toward the centerline. Hagan did his best to muscle it back over, but narrowly brushed a timing block just before the finish line, which caused his opponent to claim the automatic round win by default.

Quotable:
“My guys did a heck of a job today; the car was on a really good run. It was just one of those deals where it got inside on me, and I couldn’t get it back. I thought I lifted soon enough not to hit anything, but a header brushed a timing block, and that DQ’d us. But, a heck of a job for this Mopar team to run such a good number like that on race day. We were No. 1 qualifier, have such a good race car, and I hate that I let my team down like that. It’s race day; I was just trying to get to the finish line first. All in all, we’ve got a great car, things are going in the right direction, the guys are working hard, the parts and pieces are working well, and it’s all coming together.”

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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