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TSR Nitro Dodge Powered Matt Hagan Funny Car Victorious At Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals In Pomona

POMONA, CA (April 2, 2023) --- Matt Hagan appears ready to battle for a championship and Ron Capps and Robert Hight are taking notice! Hulk Hagan picked up his second victory of the young season and is showing no interest in taking his foot off the gas.

Hagan collected career win No. 45 by defeating reigning world champ Ron Capps with a 3.96. Capps had to click it off early after his car veered toward the centerline. Hagan won his fourth at the Winternationals title and his seventh at the famed Pomona track.

Hagan, at the wheel of his Dickie Venables-tuned Haas Automation/Tony Stewart Racing Dodge, qualified just 10th but found his mojo on Sunday, ripping off passes of 3.92 and a pair of 3.95s to defeat Blake Alexander, Alexis DeJoria, and upset-minded Terry Haddock, who was appearing in just his second career semifinal.

"It's a great day when you can go from 10th and win the race," said Hagan. "I woke up this morning and I was like, 'We've got a little bit of a hill to climb,' and it was just one of those deals where as things progressed, and as the car goes down the racetrack, you get more confident,. Just to watch what Dickie does out there on the racetrack ... there's very few weekends that that guy doesn't impress me.

"Funny Car, it's tough, you know what I mean? And that's why today, I got up for the final round. I was like, 'Man, I gotta be up for this guy,' because Dickie and Guido [Capps crew chief Dean Antonelli], they run pretty close together. Same way with [Robert Hight crew chief Jimmy] Prock, They pretty much get all you can get out there, and you know that car running beside you is going to be pretty competitive."

Capps, a four-time Winternationals champion, and crew chief Dean Antonelli cranked off three straight three-second passes to put Caps in his 142nd career final round. Capps’ NAPA Auto Parts Toyota raced past Paul Lee, low qualifier Cruz Pedregon, and Bob Tasca III.

“It was nice to be able to come out here and debut Haas Automation and Gene Haas. I’m very proud to represent such a prominent name in motorsports. It’s great to have Tony (Stewart) come over to drag racing and bring these new sponsors. I feel like it’s going to help our sport grow. Not just with our team, but with other teams also. It’s been a wonderful weekend. The right lane was giving us a tough time all weekend and it was a handful. For Dickie Venable (crew chief), Mike Knudsen (co-crew chief), Alex Conaway (car chief) and all of the guys wrenching on my car, I’m so thankful for them. They always find a way to put a great race car underneath me. I try to rise to the occasion when I can and turn on the win lights. I’ve already told him that I hope I can retire my career with him as my crew chief one day. At the end of the day, I’m really proud of our guys. Thank you to Gene Haas for putting his business on our car and allowing us to pull it into winner’s circle.”

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series continues with the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway April 14-16.

See the recap by Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor:

Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals Sunday photo gallery:

Photo's: NHRA | TSR Nitro | Matt Hagan social

Content: NHRA | TSR Nitro


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