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Doug Gordon Defends Top Alcohol Funny Car Title, First National Champion Crowned in 2023

Doug Gordon clinched his third and final NHRA National Championship in Top Alcohol Funny Car Saturday evening at the NHRA Texas FallNationals. The outcomes of the other matchups in the second round of eliminations and Gordon winning his race against Matt Gill allowed the Beta Motorcycles Morro Bay Cabinets team to mathematically lock up the championship and defend their 2022 title.  

NHRA race control reviewed all the possible outcomes after the round and determined Doug was the 2023 champion. An emotional celebration ensued at the top end, and Doug was awarded the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Championship trophy. He was the first National champion crowned in 2023, a very different circumstance than last year’s championship chase that came down to the NHRA Finals in Pomona, California. 

Melanie Johnson photo

Doug shared his thoughts after the top end ceremony, “It’s been an amazing competition this year, and we accomplished our huge goal of winning a third championship. It has been close all year, and we love racing Bellemeur and the Bartone family, they are such good friends and competitors. Things really changed when Beta Motorcycles came on a few years ago, and Lucas Oil, Hoosier Tires, and NGK have really helped us out. We work so hard to do this, and drag racing is everything to our family. It’s amazing to be here with my parents, my wife, and my daughters. To win another one is phenomenal.”

It is well known that the Gordon family decided 2023 would be Doug’s farewell season as they prepare his daughter, Maddi, to race the funny car starting in 2024. The goal all along was to win one final championship for Doug, and they did just that. It has been a dream season for the team, racing to two divisional event wins and five National event wins with four events still to complete. They will continue eliminations at the FallNationals Sunday afternoon facing Christine Foster in the semifinals. 

Doug continued, “We still have a race to win here this weekend and try to get those cowboy hats. It’s exciting to lock up this championship, and I know we’ll be here again with Maddi. It’s time to get back to work and finish this season strong, I still have some things to check off the list this season before I’m out of the driver’s seat.”

The Gordons will now compete at their final events as National Champions and attempt to also earn the LODRS West Region Championship. After the FallNationals, the next stop for the team will be Las Vegas for the NHRA Nevada Nationals October 26-29, they’ll stay in Las Vegas the following weekend for the regional event.  

Melanie Johnson photo

Melanie Johnson photo

Melanie Johnson photo

This story was originally published on October 16, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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