Force pulls away from Hagan to win Atlanta

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro SS Funny Car pilot Courtney Force picked up her second Wally of the 2018 season on Sunday. She defeated Don Schumacher Racing’s Matt Hagan in the final round of the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga.

Force went 4.046 at 313.73 mph to get the win. Hagan, the driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T, went 4.148 at 291.13 mph.

Photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA

Photo by Marc Gewertz/NHRA

“We had a great race car all day long,” Force said. “Every single guy on my crew has done just a phenomenal job all day long. From getting the No. 1 qualifying spot yesterday in our final qualifying run and to go out there and have some consistent runs. It’s great to be able to get a win at the track my sister [Ashley Force-Hood] got her first win at. It’s a pretty good day and we’re excited.”

This is Force’s first win since the second race weekend of the 2018 campaign, as she won at the NHRA Arizona Nationals in Chandler, Arizona. Force went 3.834 at 337.16 mph to win in Arizona, defeating Make-A-Wish Foundation pilot Tommy Johnson Jr., who went 6.814 at 101.57 mph.

Force is 10-16 in 26 final round appearances in her career, including 2-0 this season. Hagan fell to 27-23 in 50 final round appearances, including 1-2 this season.

Hagan is now 13-13 against Force in their careers in eliminations on Sunday. Now, with Force’s win, they are 3-3 against each other in final rounds.

Hagan had the starting line advantage and it continued that way through the 330-mark. After that, Force was able to pull away from him for the win.

She won by 0.0777 seconds, or approx. 33 feet. Force now has 10 Wally’s in her career.

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