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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.”

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Qualified: No. 1 (3.860 E.T. at 328.54 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.885 E.T. at 330.63 MPH defeated Todd Simpson 6.845 E.T. at 100.28 MPH
E2: 3.928 E.T. at 326.63 MPH defeated J.R. Todd 3.987 E.T. at 326.00 MPH
E3: 3.907 E.T. at 326.08 MPH defeated Ron Capps 3.958 E.T. at 318.84 MPH
E4: 3.943 E.T. at 324.20 MPH defeated by Jack Beckman 3.908 E.T. at 328.46 MPH

Race Recap:
On race day, the 35-time NHRA Funny Car winner clocked the second-quickest pass of the opening round of eliminations to advance past Todd Simpson, setting up a monster match-up with former champion J.R. Todd. In a battle of the yellow rides, Hagan’s Pennzoil flopper moved along with a 3.928 to Todd’s 3.987 E.T., pitting Hagan against teammate Ron Capps for the third straight event. Hagan got the better of the 2016 NHRA champion as his 3.907 was enough to outdistance Capps’ 3.958 to advance to his 64th career final round. Squaring off against another DSR Dodge teammate in the money round, Hagan faced U.S. Nationals winner and second-place driver Jack Beckman to see who would win a category-best third win of the season as all four DSR flopper pilots had two 2020 wins each. The champion shoes used nearly identical reaction times, but Beckman’s machine was slightly quicker at 3.908 to better Hagan’s 3.943 E.T.
  
Hagan, who sits six round wins shy of 400, will look to extend his narrow four-point lead over Beckman and his DSR teammates next weekend when qualifying for the 33rd annual Mopar Express Lane Nationals presented by Pennzoil kicks off Saturday afternoon.

Quotable:
“All-and-all another really good day here at Dallas for this Pennzoil/Mopar team. Jack Beckman just had a little better day. They have a great race car, but we have a great race car too. We’ve been keeping pace and we’re going to keep doing our thing for the next two races and see how this thing plays out. I’m super excited we get to do it again in a few days at Houston next weekend. We have a lot of momentum. The team is working great. The guys are doing a great job. We just have a little more work to do.”

ENNIS, Texas (October 17, 2020) – Starting from the pole position for the 40th time in his career, Funny Car point leader Matt Hagan has his sights set on securing his second consecutive Texas Motorplex victory on Sunday at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
 
At the 2019 Dallas event, Hagan raced his 11,000-horsepower machine to the winner’s circle, kicking off what would become an 11-event undefeated streak for the Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car program, and he is hoping history repeats itself on Sunday. Hagan entered the 35th running of the Dallas event with a 16-point lead over his No. 2 ranked teammate Jack Beckman and a 34-point lead over No. 3 ranked DSR Dodge pilot Tommy Johnson Jr. With only three race days remaining in the 2020 season and the points battle heating up, Hagan knows a win at the Motorplex will be critical in helping to achieve his goal of locking-up a third Funny Car world championship. 
 
Hagan’s No. 1 qualifier, his fourth of the season, was achieved when he rocketed the Pennzoil Synthetics Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to a blistering 3.860-second pass during Saturday’s second and final qualifying session. Earlier in the afternoon, Hagan and the Dickie Venables-led team unloaded with an impressive 3.890-second run in Q1, the second-quickest of the session. The Pennzoil team’s strong qualifying performance allowed them to bank five bonus points for their efforts.
 
“We made two great runs with this Pennzoil Dodge,” said Hagan, a three-time Texas Motorplex champion. “It was a bit of a cluster up there for the second run. We were trying to make a clutch call and Dickie was trying to put a timing map in, and I was like ‘take a deep breath, it’s going to be alright.’ And it was. I have a great race car under me and I’m trying to drive the wheels off of it and it’s amazing to see all these fans here at the Texas Motorplex and it sort of feels normal and I love it. We’ll try to make four good laps tomorrow and stay in the championship hunt for Pennzoil and Dodge and Mopar and all those who support us.”
 
Hagan’s quest to pick up the 12th consecutive Funny Car triumph for DSR will begin with a round one match-up versus No. 16 qualifier Todd Simpson. Hagan will have lane choice over his opponent as he kicks off his campaign for a 36th Funny Car trophy, and the chance to keep DSR’s undefeated streak alive. Hagan is a two-time winner in 2020 and finished as the event runner-up at the previous race in St. Louis. Eliminations for the 35th annual NHRA FallNationals start at 10:00 a.m. CT on Sunday.

Qualified:
 No. 1 (lane choice)The Competition: No. 16 Todd Simpson

The Results:
Q1: 3.890 E.T. at 323.97 MPH (Two bonus points for second-quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.860 E.T. at 328.54 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)

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Qualified: No. 6 (5.105 E.T. at 148.15 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.959 E.T. at 319.98 MPH defeated Bob Bode 4.080 E.T. at 266.21 MPH
E2: 4.085 E.T. at 249.58 MPH defeated Ron Capps 5.182 E.T. at 113.44 MPH
E3: 3.935 E.T. at 328.62 MPH defeated Alexis DeJoria 8.043 E.T. at 87.47 MPH 
E4: 3.886 E.T. at 330.0 MPH defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. 3.884 E.T. at 326.08 MPH

Race Recap:
Matt Hagan, a two-time 2020 event champion, had advanced to the semifinals or beyond in five of the first seven races of the season and knew a strong performance at the NHRA Midwest Nationals would yield him the opportunity to take over the Funny Car point lead.

Hagan began his weekend by qualifying the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat sixth to open up his elimination round march against Bob Bode. The Virginia native clocked a winning 3.959 E.T. to defeat his opponent and earn a spot in the quarterfinals where he was set to go toe-to-toe with teammate and fellow championship contender, Ron Capps. Against Capps, Hagan nabbed the starting line advantage and despite hazing the tires near the top end, held on for the win over his teammate who suffered a mechanical malfunction. In the semifinals, the two-time Funny Car world champion faced Alexis DeJoria where he clocked a 3.935 E.T. versus his opponent who rattled the tires early into her run. With the semifinal victory, Hagan moved into the points lead, surpassing Jack Beckman, who bowed out in the semifinals.

The final round featured an all-DSR Dodge showdown, and the chance to claim DSR’s 11th consecutive Funny Car victory. Hagan piloted his Mopar machine to an impressive 3.886-second at 333.0-mph pass, but Tommy Johnson Jr. captured the win with his 3.844 E.T. to deliver win No. 353 for Don Schumacher.

Hagan carries a 16-point lead over Beckman heading into the third-to-last race of the season. 

Quotable:
“As tough as it is to lose a close final like that, we gained ground and took the points lead. We had a good weekend and it’s hard to complain when you make a final round. That was the bad side of a really good drag race for our Mopar team. It’s a Mopar-sponsored event and we wanted to win for Mopar and Express Lane, but at least another DSR Dodge Hellcat won again with Tommy (Johnson). I just can’t say enough about my guy working so hard with no mistakes. (Crew chief) Dickie Venables is really tuning a mean race car. We’ve had such a fast car all season long. We’re making ground and that’s what matters. We’re used to this thing being tight and most of these championships are won on the final day of the season by one or two points. I’m extremely proud of my guys. It was a good day and weekend at St. Louis.”

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Qualified: No. 1 (3.975 E.T. at 321.35 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.915 E.T. at 327.90 MPH on a bye
E2: 3.954 E.T. at 325.37 MPH defeated Jack Beckman 4.134 E.T. at 242.67 MPH
E3: 4.016 E.T. at 312.64 MPH defeated by Ron Capps 3.898 E.T. at 329.99 MPH

Race Recap:
Matt Hagan, a two-time winner and three-time No. 1 qualifier in 2020, arrived in Gainesville, Fla. occupying the No. 2 spot on the Funny Car leaderboard, and was laser-focused on achieving his first Gatornationals victory. Behind the wheel of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, Hagan clocked the only sub-four second run of qualifying to earn the No. 1 spot which came with an added bonus of a first-round bye. He may not have had anyone lined up opposite him in the first round of eliminations, but that didn’t stop the Dickie Venables-led team from turning up the wick and making a ‘throw down’ lap. Hagan powered the Dodge Redeye to low E.T. and top speed of the round to ensure lane choice over teammate and point leader, Jack Beckman, in the quarterfinals. Hagan had no trouble trailering his teammate, running a 3.954 E.T. over Beckman who encountered traction issues.   
 
In the semifinals, Hagan squared off with another heavy-hitter, his teammate Ron Capps. Hagan was machine-like on the throttle, ripping off a .020 reaction time, but his 4.016-second pass couldn’t outrun Capps’ event-best 3.898 E.T. Hagan remains second in the point standings, sitting only four points behind Beckman.

Quotable:
“We have a great race car. Dickie Venables is doing a great job and has been all year. He put us on the pole this weekend. (Assistant crew chief) Mike Knudsen is doing a great job in the clutch department and overseeing things. (Car chief) Alex Conaway has been doing so well with the guys as a team leader. We have a real shot at winning the championship. This Dodge SRT Hellcat Funny Car is running really strong and we need to keep that momentum going. You’re going to have races that you go out early and others that you win, and if we can keep pace with the semifinals or better, you can win. We made up a lot of ground on (Jack) Beckman today and I’m really excited about that and we have four more races to go. I don’t know what’s ahead, but I’m excited to be here and run fast and I’m going to drive my ass off for these guys and have some fun doing it. The weatherman, the only thing he knows is that there’s increasing darkness by nightfall. I’ve never won St. Louis or here in Gainesville. We didn’t get the win at the Gators today so I’d like to check off St. Louis next weekend and bring that trophy home.”

Next NHRA Event

FC Points

Unofficial NHRA Championship Standings

Funny Car

1 Matt Hagan 842
2 Tommy Johnson Jr 800
3 Jack Beckman 799
4 Ron Capps 679
5 Bob Tasca III 595
6 J.R. Todd 584
7 Tim Wilkerson 570
8 Alexis DeJoria 489
9 Cruz Pedregon 388
10 Paul Lee 382