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Dodge leading in Funny Cars

by Bill Cawthon on

Matt Hagan’s victory at the NHRA Fall Nationals gives Dodge, Mopar, and Don Schumacher Racing a commanding lead in the Funny Car Countdown to the Championship.

With just two races left in the 2016 Mello Yello drag racing season, Ron Capps, Tommy Johnson Jr., Hagan and Jack Beckman hold the top four spots in the standings.


Hagan got a holeshot win over teammate Ron Capps in the third all-Dodge final round in the Countdown. Ironically, Capps had just gotten holeshot victories in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.

Capps still managed to pad his lead over Tommy Johnson Jr. and eliminated Jack Beckman, who set a track speed record of 333.66 mph during qualifying, in the same round.

At the end of the race day, Capps maintained his lead with 2,465 points; Johnson was the runner-up with 2,401 points, while Hagan,. with 2,377 points, advanced him to the #3 spot. Beckman dropped to fourth with 2,334 points.

The closest non-Mopar drivers are Del Worsham, who has 2,320 points, and Robert Hight, with 2,278.

In the 22 Funny Car races this season, nine have had all-Dodge final rounds and 17 have had a Dodge driver in the finals. Dodge and Mopar have now collected 13 of the 22 Wallys awarded.

In Pro Stock, Dodge’s race for the championship is over. Allen Johnson, Jeg Coughlin Jr., and 2014-15 champion Erica Enders have been mathematically eliminated after Coughlin and Enders fell in the opening round and Johnson lost to Greg Anderson in the quarterfinals.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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