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What Hagan, Beckman need to do to claim the Funny Car title

by Patrick Rall on

There is only one race left on the 2019 Mello Yello Drag Racing Championship Series schedule and although Camaro driver Robert Hight is in the top spot, Don Schumacher Racing drivers Jack Beckman and Matt Hagan both have real shots at the title. Here is a breakdown of what has to happen for one of these two Team Mopar drivers to race home with the 2019 NHRA Funny Car Championship title.

The final race of the 2019 Mello Yello Drag Racing Championship Series is the Auto Club Finals at Pomona Raceway in California. This is one of two events during the season with a higher-than-normal points system, where the winner receives 150 points. The runner-up gets 120 points, third-round losers get 90 points, second-round losers get 60 points and first-round losers get 30 points. Additionally, the top qualifier gets 10 points, 2nd gets 9, 3rd gets 8, 4th gets 7, 5th and 6th get 6, 7th and 8th get 5, 9th through 12th get 4 and 13th through 16th get 3. Also, the fastest run in each qualifying session gets 4 points, while the next three-quickest get 3, 2 and 1 point.

Right now, Robert Hight is in the top spot, 46 points ahead of Jack Beckman in 2nd, 56 points ahead of Matt Hagan in 3rd and 72 points ahead of John Force in 4th. There are other drivers which could technically win, but mathematically speaking, a gap of more than 100 points is nearly impossible to overcome in the final event.

Should Robert Hight win the Auto Club Finals, he will win the championship. If Jack Beckman and Matt Hagan both lose before Hight does, Hight wins the championship. If Hight loses in the same round as those two Mopar drivers, Hight wins the championship.

For Beckman or Hagan to have a real shot at the title, they need Robert Hight to lose early and one of them needs to win the event. While the qualifying points complicate the math a bit, if Hight loses in the first round, Hagan and Beckman will have a shot at the title if they make it to the semifinals. If Hight loses in the second round, Hagan and Beckman would need to make it to the finals. If Hight makes it to the semifinals, either Hagan or Beckman would have to win the event to win the title.

Bottom line, Robert Hight needs to lose in the first two rounds and either Matt Hagan or Jack Beckman have to win the Auto Club Finals to bring the title home for Team Mopar.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.


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