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Qualified: No. 1 (3.841 E.T. at 333.25 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.914 E.T. at 330.39 MPH defeated Alex Miladinovich 5.859 E.T. at 124.03 MPH
E2: 4.042 E.T. at 284.03 MPH defeated Tim Wilkerson 6.083 E.T. at 113.18 MPH
E3: 8.859 E.T. at 78.06 MPH defeated by John Force 3.923 E.T. at 331.28 MPH

Race Recap:
No. 1 qualifier Matt Hagan knew he had a strong car and that the improvements made to the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car throughout the off-season put him in a good position to repeat the winning performances he enjoyed at the Winternationals in 2015, 2017 and 2018. He rolled into race day with confidence on the heels of an impressive qualifying performance, which saw his Mopar Dodge run low E.T. in Q1 and Q4, and second-low in Q2.
 
At his 265th professional event, Hagan worked his way through eliminations to a semifinal match-up against John Force to whom he ceded lane choice. The left lane was unkind to the DSR driver, and tire shake ended his hopes to advance further but didn’t dampen his enthusiasm about starting off the 2020 NHRA season on a good note. He will look to continue to build upon his performance at the next event on the schedule, the NHRA Arizona Nationals, where he returns as the defending champion.

Quotable:
“I had a great qualifying and test session and came out here and ran really well. We ended up going to the semis, which was a good, healthy weekend for us. All-in-all, just a great way to start the season, so I’m excited rolling into Phoenix. We’re going to make sure that we end up having some more good runs along the way. The car is working really well. We were No. 1 qualifier here in Pomona, and I think we’re going to carry that momentum into Phoenix. Hopefully, we can turn on some more win lights for Mopar Dodge, for Pennzoil, and for Sandvik and hopefully get a win soon.”  

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NHRA - Minutes after losing their Friday qualifying lead to world champ Robert Hight, Matt Hagan and crew chief Dickie Venables regained the top spot on the final pass of Funny Car qualifying to enter Sunday as the No. 1 qualifiers.

Hagan’s Friday Q1 pass of 3.867 had withstood all challengers until Hight pulled the Auto Club Chevy to the line in the second to last qualifying pair and rocketed to a 3.862. That lead lasted until the two-time world champ ripped away from the starting line in his blue Mopar/Pennzoil Dodge and clocked a 3.841 alongside teammate Jack Beckman, whose Infinite Hero Dodge knocked Hight down another spot with a 3.856.

Tommy Johnson Jr. and the new-look MD Anderson Cancer Center Dodge made three-second passes on three of four runs and hit a best-of-qualifying 3.881in Q4 for the No. 3 spot.

After two Friday misses, John Force chalked up a 3.93 in Q3 then put down a solid 3.889 in the final session to qualify No. 5 with new crew chiefs Danny Hood and Ronny Thompson.

Twelve cars qualified in the three-second zone with Bob Bode’s 3.984 being the slowest of the sub-fours. Also qualifying in the three-second zone were Paul Lee (3.910), Ron Capps (3.911), J.R. Todd (3.914), Tim Wilkerson (3.918), Bob Tasca III (3.940), and Alexis DeJoria (3.950).

Alex Miladinovich qualified for the field in his nitro Funny Car debut at the former Nostalgia Funny Car pilot got a passing grade for his Hot For Teacher Toyota with a 4.554 pass that left him in the No. 16 spot with a first-round date with Hagan Sunday morning.

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The NHRA Funny Car class was dominated by Don "The Snake" Prudhomme (four championships) in the 1970s, Kenny Bernstein (four championships) in the 1980s and John Force in the 1990s (nine titles) and 2000s (five titles). 

As for the 2010s, coming up with the definitive King of the Strip is not as cut-and-dried.

Seven different drivers won Funny Car crowns in the decade of the 2010s, while Force, Robert Hight and Matt Hagan (above) won two each. Toss in champions Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, Del Worsham and J.R. Todd, and the decade that just came to a close proved to be one of the best on record for the fans.

Let's take opinion out of the equation and rank the decade's best, based squarely on performance. And, yes, drivers are rewarded for 10 years of excellence—and dinged for leaving early (or starting their Funny Car run a little later in the decade).

For this Driver of the Decade competition, drivers earned 14 points for each championship, nine points for finishing second in the points, eight points for third, seven points for fourth, all the way down to one point for 10th place.

Here's our breakdown of the decade's top 10 (with one bonus pick): Click Here for Results

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FC Mello Yello Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:

2019 Funny Car

Funny Car

1 Jack Beckman 220
2 Tommy Johnson Jr 175
3 John Force 173
4 Matt Hagan 129
5 Ron Capps 128
6 Tim Wilkerson 107
7 Robert Hight 100
8 Alexis DeJoria 99
9 Bob Tasca III 87
10 J.R. Todd 65
10 Paul Lee 65