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Records Fall At Indianapolis Labor Day Nationals
Funny Car winner at the U.S. Nationals over the Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis was Matt Hagan, smoking all the competition. Photo By Mike Burghardt

The 62nd Chevrolet Performance US Nationals took place over the Labor Day Weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana. Track records fell in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, and two $100,000 bonus races also took place during the most prestigious drag race in the world and the final race for racers to get into the countdown for the championship.

In Top Fuel Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher pulled off the double up bonus as he captured his 10th US Nationals victory and won the $100,000 Traxxas Top Fuel shootout. Schumacher and the US Army team shot down the competition with stellar performances and a little bit of racer’s luck on the way to his historic victory. In round one Schumacher took down Top Fuel newcomer Tripp Tatum with a 3.746 at 327 mph. Round two he found himself squaring off with teammate Antron Brown and the Matco Tools team. Schumacher made quick work of the tire smoking Brown, putting a 3.788 at 320 mph on the scoreboard. Semifinal round he would take on JR Todd and the Seal Master team. Both cars lost traction around 300 ft. but Schumacher was able to get his dragster to recover and capture the win light. In the final round, he would take on Steve Torrance and the Capco contractors team. Schumacher left the starting line first with a .036 to a .045 reaction time. Torrance put up a 3.803 at 325 mph but that was not enough to run down a 3.806 at 316 mph by Schumacher. This is Schumacher’s second win this season and 82nd of his career.

In Funny Car Matt Hagan and his Mopar/Rocky Boots Dodge was the class of the field putting a 3.894 at 327 mph in the opening round to defeat John Bojec. Hagan then took down Robert Hight and the Auto Club team who lit up the night sky during qualifying when his Chevrolet Camaro hung a valve thus causing a massive explosion which disintegrated the carbon fiber body. Hagan put a 3.942 at 324 mph to Hight’s tire smoking 4.572 at 183 mph. This would match him up with teammate Tommy Johnson in the semifinal round. Hagan put a 3.945 at 323 mph to just edge out Johnson’s 3.970 at 321 mph advancing him to the final round against reigning series champion Del Worsham and the DHL team. In the final round Hagan cut a .039 reaction time to get out in front of Worsham and just held off the quicker 3.958 at 324 mph of Worsham with his 3.964 at 327 mph. This is Hagan’s third win of the year and 21st of his career.

During qualifying Courtney Force captured the $100,000 Traxxas Funny Car shootout by defeating teammate Robert Hight in the final round of the special event.

In Pro stock Chris McGaha captured his first US Nationals win and fourth of his career. He defeated Allen Johnson in the final round with a 6.688 at 207 mph to a 6.715 at 207 mph.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle the Harley team once again rose to the occasion and picked up the win light. Andrew Hines on his Vance and Hines Screamin’ Eagle Harley Davidson picked up the easy final round victory when Hector Arana Jr. fouled out on the starting line. Hines put a 6.862 at 194 mph. This is Hines’ fifth win of the year and 47th of his career.

The next stop for the NHRA Mello Yello drag racing series is Charlotte, NC from Sept. 16-18 where the countdown for the championship will begin.