NHRA Funny Car: It took 9 years but Matt Hagan finally earns first U.S. Nationals win


BROWNSBURG, Indiana – Matt Hagan finished what he started.

The former two-time NHRA Funny Car champ came into this weekend’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals with 20 career wins – but he had never won the sport’s biggest race.

Scratch that off his bucket list now.

Hagan started Monday’s final eliminations at Lucas Oil Raceway as the No. 1 qualifier, showed great consistency and power throughout all five rounds of qualifying, and then capped things off by finally earning his first career win in the U.S. Nationals.

MORE: NHRA U.S. Nationals: Final finishing order, results, round-by-round, standings

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MORE: NHRA Top Fuel: Tony Schumacher earns record-breaking 10th U.S. Nationals win

When asked his reaction to winning the race, Hagan channeled wrestler Rik Flair’s trademark line: “Wooooooooo!”


But seriously ….

“We made it right here at Indy when it counts,” said Hagan, who defeated defending series champ Del Worsham in the final round. “I’m just tickled to death to be up here. This is something I’ve been wanting to check off the list for a long time.

“This is something incredible, something we’ve been trying to accomplish for the last nine years with DSR (Don Schumacher Racing). It’s not an easy task. But we have the parts and pieces and people around me – especially (crew chief) Dickie Venables, who put a great hot rod under me all weekend.”

Hagan won his third race of the season with a strong performance of 3.964 seconds at 327.43 mph. Worsham was a very close second at 3.958 seconds at 324.20 mph.

“The car was just on kill the whole weekend,” Hagan said. “That’s what it takes to win championships, to win races. I really feel this car is really starting to peak at the right time.”

Hagan took home $100,000 for the win, while Worsham won $30,000. Hagan also made it a sweep for Don Schumacher Racing in the two Nitro classes (Tony Schumacher won the Top Fuel race Monday).

“I can’t believe we won the U.S. Nationals,” Hagan said. “I’m on cloud nine right now. It’ll probably take me a couple days to process.”

More importantly, Hagan enters the upcoming six-race Countdown to the Championship as the No. 3 seed (of 10 drivers).


After earning the 22nd win of his Funny Car career, Hagan now looks ahead to going for his third championship (won in 2011 and 2014).

“Championships define careers,” Hagan said “This is a huge race and something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. But championships to me, is what it all comes down to.

“I’ve been able to win a few (championships), but I’ve also been able to set some milestones in history and win a lot of races. But people remember the championships.”

Hagan was also philosophical about how the entire day played out.

“It was a bad-ass show for the fans,” Hagan said. “They got what they paid for today. … There’s a lot of things that define great people and great moments. … When those moments come into play, you can’t fold. You have to be that person that stands out and makes it happen.”

Among other highlights from the four rounds of eliminations:

* Ron Capps remains the leader as the points are reset for the Countdown. Capps will enter the first race at Charlotte in two weeks with 2,110 points. Del Worsham is second (2,080 points), followed by Matt Hagan (2,070), Courtney Force (2,060), Jack Beckman (2,050), Robert Hight (2,040), Tommy Johnson Jr. (2,030), 16-time Funny Car champion John Force (2,020), Tim Wilkerson (2,010) and Alexis DeJoria (2,000).

* It was a rough day for John Force Racing. Sixteen-time Funny Car champion John Force lost in the first round to Chad Head. Daughter Courtney Force and JFR president Robert Hight both lost in the quarterfinals. Courtney was defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr., while Hight fell to Hagan.

* Hagan becomes the 30th different U.S. Nationals winner in Funny Car. He earned $100,000, while Worsham won $30,000.

* Alexis DeJoria made her return to competition after missing the last two races due to a fractured pelvis suffered in a crash a month ago at Sonoma. DeJoria lost in the first round of eliminations Monday to teammate Del Worsham.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Detroit


The focus of the Detroit Monster Energy Supercross round was on the mid-pack battle while Aaron Plessinger pulled away from the field, but when he crashed after hooking his foot in the dirt, the results once more looked like we’ve come to expect, with Chase Sexton, Cooper Webb and Eli Tomac sharing the podium for the fifth time in 10 rounds.

Supercross Results Detroit
Justin Barcia was part of an exciting, four-rider battle in the middle of Detroit’s A-Main. – Feld Motor Sports

For Sexton, Plessinger’s late-race crash was a vindication of sorts. Several times already this season, Sexton has crashed while battling for the lead and the points that has cost him keeps him sporting the red plate. He lost points in Detroit for a different reason, however.

Sexton was allowed to keep the win, but was penalized seven points for jumping in a red cross section of the course. As a result, he dropped four points to Webb and two to Tomac. Sexton is now 17 points behind Webb in the championship hunt.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

One week after snatching the red plate from Tomac for the first time in 2023, Webb stretched his advantage by two. With his second-place finish, Webb holds a three-point lead over Tomac, which essentially means both riders control their fate in the coming weeks. Webb continues to have a sweep of the top five this season with his sixth consecutive podium.

Coming off his worst finish of the season, Tomac rebounded to finish third. His eighth-place result last week was partially attributed to a stiff neck that hindered him in traffic and he still suffered some of those same effects in Detroit. Before Plessinger’s crash, he was destined to be the only rider in the three-man title scrum to finish off the podium in Detroit.

It is surprising what one position can do for one’s confidence.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Justin Barcia scored his fourth top-five of the season. He was part of the exciting four-man battle that dominated the middle stages of the race before Sexton and Webb gained a little separation. Finishing less than three seconds behind Tomac, he kept that rider honest for the entire race.

Coming off his first win of the season, Ken Roczen finished fifth. It was his seventh top-five of the season and it elevated him to fifth in the standings.

Plessinger’s fall took the wind from his sails. He attempted to right his bike after a hard crash, but as it smoked and pinged, he dropped to 13th in the final rundown.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

Hunter Lawrence tied his brother Jett Lawrence with 10 wins each after another dominating ride in the Detroit Supercross race and the results in the points continue to widen. With his fifth win in six rounds and a worst finish of third, Lawrence now has a 35-point advantage over Nate Thrasher with four rounds remaining. Finishes of 14th or better in the final four mains will give him his first 250 championship.

Supercross Results Detroit
Strong starts have been one of the keys to Hunter Lawrence’s success in 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

Jett will have an opportunity to retake his wins’ lead as Supercross heads west for the next two rounds in Seattle and Glendale, Arizona.

Nate Thrasher earned his third second-place finish of the season with a gap of 7.6 seconds to Lawrence. He won the overall in Arlington earlier this season, but a 15th-place finish in the opening round in Houston and 10th in Daytona hurts his championship chances.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Haiden Deegan scored his second podium and fourth top-five in six rounds of his young career. On his way to that finish, he rode aggressively against his teammate Jordon Smith in the heat race. Fans are getting a glimpse of what his on-track personality might be.

Jeremy Martin continues to be the model of consistency. He has not finished worse than sixth or better than fourth in six rounds now and that has allowed him to close to within two points of third in the 250 East championship standings.

Rounding out the top five is Chris Blose, who was pressed into service at the start of the season because of a rash of injuries at Pro Circuit Kawasaki. This is Blose’s first top-five of the season, although he’s steadily improved over the past five rounds.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 East Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

Max Anstie entered the race weekend second in the points, but a hard crash in heavy traffic early in the main forced him to retire after two laps. Earning only one point for the round, he plummeted to fifth in the standings.

The news was worse for Smith, who was dropped out of the top nine in his heat after the altercation with Deegan and failed to advance through the LCQ. In the last chance race, he stalled his engine and had to mount a determined charge. He got only as high as seventh in that race after crashing while attempting to make a pass on fourth-place Jack Chambers.

2023 Results

Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s