From NHRA | NHRA National Dragster staff
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 12, 2023) – Chad Green has won his first NHRA Funny Car Wallyy and may have picked up a new "best-friend" in Matt Hagan
Green will long remember the 2023 Finals as not only the site of his first career Funny Car win but also the chance to share the winner’s stage with his son, Hunter, who won in Top Alcohol Dragster. Green, a former winner in Pro Mod and a two-time Funny Car runner-up in this breakthrough season, beat Tim Wilkerson on a holeshot, 3.91 to 3.90, in a car tuned by Wilkerson’s son, Daniel. It’s just the 49th race of Green’s Funny Car career.
"First off, it's been an amazing season," said Green. "This has been a dream season for us. We've done so good all year long. I couldn't be more proud of my guys. They've really come a long way in the last few years, and they've stuck with me. We've been trying all year to get this Wally and have been close a few times, and I can't think of a better way to top off a season by ending like this with a win at the last race.
"As the day went on, and I saw Hunter progressing through the rounds and saw what was happening with him and I saw what was happening with us and saw that some of the big dogs go out, and I was like, 'Yeah, we've really got a chance to win this thing.' To tell you the truth. I've had a good feeling about this race all week."
Green and the Bond Coat team enjoyed a couple of retribution wins in the first two rounds, defeating J.R. Todd and Robert Hight, who had defeated him in his only other career Funny Car finals earlier this season, in Somona and Reading, respectively, and his shocking win over traction-plagued Hight in round two decided the season championship in Matt Hagan’s favor. Green then reached the final round on a 3.961 to 3.960 holeshot win over Blake Alexander.
Wilk and his Scag Power Equipment team began their run to the final round by sending outgoing world champ Ron Capps home early, then took out the sport’s all-time winner, John Force, in round two and reached the final with his best pre-final run of the day, 3.92, to defeating reigning event champ Cruz Pedregon to reach his 53rd career final.
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