BROWNSBURG, Ind. (April 26, 2017) - There's nothing like going home after a disappointing trip so it's perfect timing for NHRA Mello Yello Series Funny Car points leader Matt Hagan to be racing this weekend near Charlotte in the eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals this weekend near Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Hagan opened this year by winning the first two events on the Mello Yello tour but Sunday near Houston in the fifth event of season the two-time NHRA world champion was eliminating in the opening round to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman after qualifying 11th, the worst of the year for Hagan's Mopar Express Lane 2017 Dodge Charger R/T.
"You have to be able to go out there and put a good number on the board during qualifying so we don't have to race a DSR teammate in the first or second round on Sunday," Hagan said. "That makes a big difference. The Funny Car competition is tough but the toughest ones out there are the DSR guys pitted next to us.
"A lot of racing still left and we're going to my home track at Charlotte where my entire family will be. I'm pretty pumped about that and we're just going to roll on with it."
Hagan will be racing about 165 miles from his cattle farm in Christiansburg, Va., and most of his family and friends will make the short drive to zMAX Dragway next to Charlotte Motor Speedway to provided added support when racing begins on Friday with qualifying of the most unique event in drag racing.
The Four-Wide Nationals is contested on the only four-lane dragstrip in the world that pits four nitro racecars on the track at the same time in four qualifying sessions with the top-16 advancing to Sunday's eliminations when the top two in the heats of four advance to the next round.
Hagan with crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Michael Knudsen won the Four-Wide Nationals in 2013 and have won at the track two other times in a total of five final round appearances.
And the Charlotte track is where he became the first Funny Car driver to crack the 4-second barrier with a time of in 3.995 in 2011 that led to the lane being named his honor.
"Man, that sure seems like a long time ago," said Hagan, who set the Funny Car time (3.822 seconds) and speed (335.57 mph) records last year and duplicated those numbers at this year's season-opener at Pomona, Calif.
He set the Charlotte track speed mark at 323.50 last year which is one of 16 NHRA track time and speed records he currently holds.
The Four-Wide race is the second of three on successive weekends for the Mello Yello tour that races near Atlanta next weekend.
Funny Car (Unofficial)
1. Matt Hagan (400)
2. Ron Capps (398)
3. John Force (371)
4. Tommy Johnson Jr. (357)
5. Robert Hight (301)
5. Courtney Force (301)
7. Jack Beckman (282)
8. Jonnie Lindberg (235)
9. J.R. Todd (222)
10. Jim Campbell (211)