Matt Hagan wins NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove to take Funny Car points lead


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MOHNTON, Pennsylvania — Matt Hagan won the NHRA Nationals on Sunday to take the Funny Car points lead, his engine exploding as he crossed the finish line at Maple Grove Raceway .

Hagan had a 4.333-second pass at 215.00 mph in a Dodge Charger to beat Tommy Johnson Jr. Hagan raced to his third victory of the season and second in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. He opened a 36-point advantage over 16-time series champion John Force with two events left.

"The points lead is huge, but like I said, we showed up here to win a race," said Hagan, the 2011 Funny Car series champion. "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."

Tony Schumacher won in Top Fuel, Rodger Brogdon in Pro Stock, and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle in the fourth Countdown event.

Seven-time world champ Schumacher extended his points lead with his fifth Maple Grove victory, holding off Brittany Force in a final round where both cars lost traction early. Schumacher has five victories this season, three in the Countdown, and 77 overall. He has a 134-point lead over Doug Kalitta.

Brogdon raced to his second career victory with a 6.516 at 212.13 in a Chevy Camaro, beating Allen Johnson in the final. Krawiec picked up his fourth win of the year with a 6.793 at 197.13 on a Harley-Davidson, beating Scotty Pollacheck. Krawiec cut teammate Andrew Hines' points lead to 25.

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