By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Matt Hagan, the pilot of the Don Schumacher Racing’s Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, won the fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway on Sunday in the Funny Car category. This is Hagan’s third win of the season.
Hagan picked up his 25th career win at the Epping, N.H. track. He defeated John Force Racing’s Courtney Force in the final round after going 3.897 at 332.59 mph.
Force, the pilot of the Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro, went 3.927 at 332.34 mph.
“I knew we had a great racer today and the conditions were great, so we knew we were better than our qualifying times,” Hagan said. “Everything went the way it should have today, and things seemed to fall in place for us.”
According to Dragracecentral.com, Hagan was 24-21 in his previous final rounds prior to this final round win. He’s 3-1 in final rounds this season.
Force is 1-1 in final rounds this season. She is now 8-12 in career final rounds.
Hagan had the starting line advantage of 0.020, before Force closed the gap at the 60 foot marker. Then, Hagan started to pull away for the win.
“We’ve got a race car that I think can win this whole thing this year,” Hagan said. Dickie’s [Dickie Venables, crew chief] racing smart and everybody hopes that they can win, but it’s some of those things when you know you can. It’s a great feeling, the confidence that you have that when you crawl into the car on Sunday, you know you can turn four win lights on.
“We didn’t go down the racetrack [Friday] and you’re thinking, ‘Oh man, what do we do?’ But Dickie was like, ‘Man we’re better than that.’ So, he reeled it back in and made two really nice laps on Saturday and built a lot of confidence coming into Sunday.”
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