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Brittany Force raced to the Top Fuel victory Sunday afternoon at the fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway.
Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) also notched victories in their respective categories at the ninth of 24 events on the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Force earned the fourth victory of her career and first of the season with a pass of 3.716 seconds at 328.62 mph in her Monster Energy dragster to defeat Antron Brown, who ran a 3.728 at 327.98 in his Matco Tools dragster, in the final round.
“We figured things out in Topeka, and I felt like we had our team back, so we knew our first win would be right around the corner,” Force said. “The key to it all is our team sticking together and not giving up, and it definitely paid dividends today.”
Force qualified second for the event and defeated Steve Chrisman, Troy Coughlin Jr., Shawn Langdon, and Brown on her way to the victory. Force now sits sixth in the points standings and is the fifth different Top Fuel winner of the season. Brown defeated Shawn Reed, Scott Palmer, and points leader Leah Pritchett to reach his fourth final round of the season.
Hagan powered to the 25th victory of his career and third of the season with a 3.897 pass at 332.59 in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger Funny Car to defeat Courtney Force, who ran a 3.927 at 332.34 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevy Camaro.
“I knew we had a great race car today and the conditions were great, so we knew we were better than our qualifying times,” Hagan said. “Everything went the way it should have today, and things seemed to fall in place for us.”
After qualifying fourth, Hagan defeated 16-time world champion John Force, Del Worsham, and teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. before facing off with Force in the final. Hagan won the first two events of the season in Pomona and Phoenix and currently sits second in the points standings behind teammate Ron Capps, who ended a four-race win streak when he fell to Force in the semifinal round.
Two-time Pro Stock world champion Enders secured her 22nd career victory and first since the fall Las Vegas event in 2015 with a 6.534 at 213.16 in her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro to defeat rookie Tanner Gray, who ran a 6.550 at 212.06 in his Gray Motorsports Chevy Camaro.
“Today is a culmination of everything that happened over the past year and a half, since 2016 was tough for us,” said Enders of the importance of today’s victory. “It’s so awesome to have a team that has my back, and it is absolutely the reason why I am able to drive the way I drive.”
Enders now sits at sixth in the standings and is the seventh different Pro Stock winner of the season. After qualifying second, Enders defeated reigning world champion Jason Line and points leader Bo Butner before knocking off Gray. Gray lined up against Val Smeland and Drew Skillman to reach his third final round of the season.
The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park June 8-11.