Hagan takes NHRA Funny Car points lead with Maple Grove win
Schumacher, Brogdon and Krawiec also victorious.
Matt Hagan took over the Funny Car points lead by racing to victory Sunday at the NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Hagan crossed the finish line in spectacular fashion when his Dodge Charger’s engine exploded following a 4.333-second pass at 215.00 mph, defeating Tommy Johnson Jr. He was appearing in his third final of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship and picked up his second win in the playoffs.
Hagan, who has three victories on the season and 13 in his career, opened up a 36-point advantage on 16-time world champ John Force with two races remaining in the playoffs.
“The points lead is huge but like I said we showed up here to win a race,” said Hagan, the 2011 Funny Car world champ. “Points change but the Wallys [trophies] you put on your shelf don’t. We did what we set up to do this morning and that was to turn the win light on four times.”
Schumacher tops in Top Fuel
Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Rodger Brogdon (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the fourth of six playoff events during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.
Seven-time world champ Schumacher extended his points lead after he held off Brittany Force in a thrilling final round where both cars lost traction early and were on and off the throttle all the way downtrack. It was the third Countdown victory this season for Schumacher, his fifth win of the season and 77th of his career. Schumacher, who has five career victories at Reading, has a 134-point lead over Doug Kalitta heading to Las Vegas.
In Pro Stock, Brogdon secured his second career victory with a 6.516 at 212.13 in a Chevy Camaro, defeating Dodge Dart driver Allen Johnson in the final.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Krawiec picked up his fourth win of 2014 with a 6.793 at 197.13 on a Harley-Davidson, beating Buell rider Scotty Pollacheck. It was Krawiec’s 27th career victory and third at Maple Grove Raceway. He cut teammate Andrew Hines’ points lead to 25.
Doug Kalitta fastest in Top Fuel qualifying at Maple Grove
Coughlin concedes, won't repeat as Pro Stock champ