Driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 3 (3.943 E.T. at 324.05 MPH)
The Results:
E1: 4.401 E.T. at 217.56 MPH defeated Jonnie Lindberg 9.208 E.T. at 80.50 MPH
E2: 4.397 E.T. at 219.58 MPH defeated Courtney Force 4.557 E.T. at 219.15 MPH
E3: 4.129 E.T. at 298.60 MPH defeated Shawn Langdon 4.148 E.T. at 307.16 MPH
E4: 4.141 E.T. at 300.60 MPH defeated by J.R. Todd 4.062 E.T. at 311.70 MPH
Race Recap:
Matt Hagan raced the new Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to its first ever final-round appearance at the 64th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals.
Hagan earned the No. 3 starting spot and the 2016 event winner at Indy began race day by defeating Jonnie Lindberg in a challenging run that saw Hagan deftly manage traction and engine issues to lock down the round win. Matched up against points leader Courtney Force in the quarterfinals, both drivers hazed the tires near halftrack with Hagan once again using his driving skills to pedal his car to the finish line for his 330th round win.
In the semifinals, three-time 2018 race winner Hagan recorded his best run of the day, a 4.129-second elapsed time at 298.60 mph, to knock off Shawn Langdon and advance to his sixth final round of the year and 53rd of his career. Lacking lane choice in the final against J.R. Todd, Hagan was first off the starting line but Todd soon pulled ahead, and Hagan’s solid 4.141 second run wasn’t enough to close the gap. Hagan will start second when the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs begin at the next race, the Dodge NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pennsylvania.
"We’re going into the Countdown with some good points and a good lead on some of the heavy hitters. All we can focus on now is these next six races coming up. They’re important, but like I was telling my guys, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in points. We all want to do the best job we can and want nothing more than to put this new Hellcat body in the winner’s circle, and I feel like we’re going to do it two or three times in the Countdown, it’s just a matter of time. My take on it is to have some fun. The Countdown is always tough. You’ve got to figure out how to just enjoy the ride. We all deal with pressure and different things in a different way, but for me, it’s just rising to the occasion when the opportunity is there. We’re going to make opportunities for ourselves, we’ll capitalize on them, and hopefully turn that it into win lights on race day."



Next NHRA Event

FC Mello Yello Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:
1 Robert Hight 717
2 JR Todd 556
3 Ron Capps 548
4 Tommy Johnson Jr. 527
5 John Force 524
6 Matt Hagan 506
7 Jack Beckman 477
8 Tim Wilkerson 463
9 Shawn Langdon 404
10 Bob Tasca 369
11 Cruz Pedregon 306
12 Terry Haddock 250
13 Jim Campbell 209
14 Jeff Diehl 191
15 Jonnie Lindberg 174
16 Blake Alexander 143
17 Dave Richards 94
18 Phil Burkart Jr. 88
19 Gary Densham 73
20 Paul Lee 52
21 Frank Pedregon 32
22 John Smith 31
23 Dale Creasy 10
24 Bob Bode 5