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Qualified: No. 10 (4.129 E.T. at 263.98 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 4.113 E.T. at 287.35 MPH defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. 4.037 E.T. at 309.84 MPH

Race Recap:
Last year’s Southern Nationals Funny Car runner-up began his day with an intramural battle against fellow Hellcat pilot Tommy Johnson Jr. After qualifying in the bottom-half of the field for the first time in 2019, Hagan found himself in the less-desirable right lane opposite his teammate. The DSR Dodges launched together and maintained pace until just past halftrack when Johnson surged ahead to nab the win ending Hagan’s day early.

“Tricky race track for us this weekend. Obviously, we had some issues that we just couldn’t overcome. Usually, our ole hot rod is like a bracket car; put a 94 on it and go racing, but the weather threw us for a loop this weekend and we just got behind the eight ball a little bit.”

Matt Hagan

Qualified: No. 10

The Competition: No. 7 Tommy Johnson Jr.

The Results: 
Q1: 4.483 E.T. at 196.53 MPH
Q2: 4.129 E.T. at 263.98 MPH
Q3: 10.186 E.T. at 72.31 MPH

“The track conditions obviously have been a little bit tricky this weekend but I think we’ve proven time and time again that (crew chief) Dickie Venables does a great job with coming out and swinging hard on Sunday, diving into the race track and doing what we need to do. The weather played a part of this (qualifying position). Yesterday with the rain coming in and everything getting cool, and then today missing out on Q4 and having to run up there really quick on Q3 after it rained. Looking ahead to tomorrow, race day conditions, we’ll go back to what we’ve been running the last couple of races. We feel like we have a pretty good tune-up. Lane choice is going to be huge tomorrow. Obviously, we’re not going to have lane choice with TJ and that right lane has been tricky. We’ll have to take that into consideration and pull it back a little bit but it is what it is, that’s how the cards fell this weekend. They’ll have lane choice and we’ll see what we can do with that right lane.”

Matt Hagan
Qualified:No. 6 (3.959 E.T. at 325.45 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 3.953 E.T. at 325.14 MPH defeated Cruz Pedregon 4.671 E.T. at 184.02 MPH, Jonnie Lindberg 4.786 E.T. at 181.25 MPH
E2: 3.997 E.T. at 316.30 MPH defeated Tim Wilkerson 4.062 E.T. at 290.07 MPH, Jack Beckman 7.194 E.T. at 99.31 MPH
E3: 5.252 E.T. at 172.89 MPH defeated by Shawn Langdon 4.125 E.T. at 305.08 MPH, Robert Hight 4.159 E.T. at 242.89 MPH

Starting from the No. 6 position, Pennzoil Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Matt Hagan finished second out of four drivers in the opening round to advance deeper in eliminations on the strength of a 3.953 second E.T., his quickest pass of the weekend. In the next quad pairing, Hagan posted the quickest pass and continued onto the finals.

Hagan, the 2013 winner at Charlotte, matched up with Force, Robert Hight and Shawn Langdon in the final foursome of the day. Chasing his second win of the season, the two-time Funny Car world champion smoked the tires early and was forced to settle for a semifinals finish, with Langdon taking the event win. Hagan remains second in the Funny Car point standings.

“We were just pushing a little bit too hard up there, really trying to run a number. You can Monday morning quarterback it all day long – it didn’t take that big a number to make it happen, I think a 4.12 won it – but everybody went up there with that same mentality to push hard, and that’s why everybody smoked the tires.

“The thing about it is, we’ve got a great race car. We’re going into Atlanta, we’re coming off of two finals right now, and I just really feel like this team is clicking and working really well. The parts and pieces are working and the guys are putting the car together great. For Sandvik/Mopar/Pennzoil, it’s going to happen soon. Just keep doing what we’re doing. The car is responding to the decisions (crew chief) Dickie Venables is making good or bad. If it’s working, don’t change it.”

NHRA stars Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett took next-generation service technicians to school during the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals Presented by Pennzoil as part of the Mopar Career Automotive Program’s “Assemble Your Future” initiative.

The “Assemble Your Future” program brings Mopar CAP students to NHRA events to network with dealer representatives, identify potential career opportunities, and meet Mopar and Dodge//SRT NHRA racers as a reward for their participation in the program. The new initiative was made possible with support from Pennzoil, which is headquartered in Houston and is title sponsor of Houston Raceway Park powered by Pennzoil.   

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FC Mello Yello Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:

Funny Car

1 Robert Hight 1159
2 Tommy Johnson Jr 1010
3 John Force 958
4 Ron Capps 927
5 Jack Beckman 904
6 Bob Tasca III 865
7 J.R. Todd 857
8 Matt Hagan 794
9 Shawn Langdon 727
10 Tim Wilkerson 724