There may be a new championship favorite in Funny Car!
Matt Hagan has now won 41 races in a nitro Funny Car but few have been as dominant as his most recent win over upstart Bobby Bode in Houston. The three-time world champion gave new team owner Tony Stewart his second win of the season in five races with a 3.98, but most of the attention was focused on the other lane after Bode backfired a supercharger and blew the body off his Arbee Mustang. Bode was ahead of Hagan at the eighth-mile mark before his car began to drop cylinders.
Hagan quickly checked to make sure Bode wasn’t hurt and then his thoughts turned to his longtime crew chief Dickie Venables, who recently lost his father, Dick Sr.
“Dickie has been such a big part of this, and this is such a special event,” said Hagan. “I won my first race here in Houston with a pedal job and its crazy how history works. This is for Dickie and his dad in remembrance of him. We’re leading the points now and we’ve got a second win for Tony Stewart Racing. Our crew is doing a hell of a job.”
“I won three racers with Tommy and the rest have been with Dickie," Hagan said. "That’s a statement of how good the guy is. There are a lot of heavy hitters out here, but I wouldn’t trade Dickie for any of them. The dude is incredible. It was super-emotional this weekend. Rolling up to final, I just told myself don’t do something stupid and mess this up.”
RPM Round By Round:
Round 1 - Overall Matt Hagan is 18- 7) against John Force and he is 6-9 against him in round 1. For his career John has won 74% of his first round races. Force with the starting line advantage, but Hagan has the lead by the time they go by the Christmas tree and never trailed from there on for the win. Matt Hagan's MOV: 0.0331 seconds (approximately 16 feet). Hagan will have lane choice choice over Capps in the next round. Force with a clean pass in the losing effort.
Round 2 - Capps is 37 - 32 against Hagan in prior events. Matt Hagan's 37 losses to Ron Capps are the most for him against any opponent. Hagan with the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win, He runs low E.T. of the round for the win and lane choice over Todd in the semifinal. Capps is up in smoke right at the hit and clicked it off.
Round 3 – Hagan is 10-4 against Todd in prior events. Todd with the starting line advantage and is up in smoke right at the hit. Hagan launched hard and kept it hooked to make a great looking pass for the win. Hagan is advancing to his 75th final round. He will have lane choice over Bode in the final.
Round 4 – Hagan is 1-0 against Bode in prior events and this is the first time they have faced each other in a final round. Hagan with the starting line advantage, but Bode has the lead by the time they go by the Christmas tree until the 1/8th mile mark. Bode starts mixing up the cylinders just past half track and then right in the light the engine let go with a huge fireball. It blew the body in half and high into the air. Hagan drove by and gets the win with another good looking pass. Hagan wins his 41st Funny Car Wally and second this year.
See a full recap of the full day:
See Sundays photo gallery from NHRA National Dragster:
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