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After stumbling in the first two rounds of the Countdown to the championship, winning just one round, the Mopar team of driver Matt Hagan and tuner Dickie Venables have come alive and inserted themselves right back into the points battle with his second straight win. In front of a packed house that included executives from both of his primary sponsors, Dodge and Pennzoil, Hagan defeated upset-minded Jonnie Lindberg in the final, 3.87 to 3.94, to climb to third in points.

After early outs in Reading and St. Louis, the DSR Dodge Charger Hellcat Widebody entry came alive in Charlotte with a semifinal finish then won all four rounds two weeks ago in Dallas to keep themselves in the title fight.

Hagan carved his way to the final the same way he did in Dallas with a steady string of runs: 3.90 to beat Paul Lee, 3.86 to defeat Tommy Johnson Jr., and a 3.881 to put the brakes on Bob Tasca III’s hopes to continue to climb the points ladder. The final round was the 64th of Hagan’s career.

Hagan took advantage of the early outs by the top two drivers in points, Jack Beckman and Robert Hight, to pull to within 56 points.

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FC Mello Yello Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:

Funny Car

1 Tommy Johnson Jr 416
2 Jack Beckman 403
3 Matt Hagan 388
4 Ron Capps 314
5 Bob Tasca III 303
6 J.R. Todd 292
7 Tim Wilkerson 270
8 Alexis DeJoria 217
9 Cruz Pedregon 202
10 Paul Lee 193