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 (Ivan Veldhuizen photo) BROWNSBURG, Ind. – NHRA drag racers Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett will serve as co-grand marshals for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Hagan, a two-time NHRA Funny Car world champion, will join forces with his fellow Pennzoil-powered Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel teammate Leah Pritchett as they take their talents from the drag strip to the famed Las Vegas oval track.

The NHRA speedsters will give the command to start engines for the 267-lap Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, the third event of the season.

“If someone would have told me that I’d have the opportunity to be a grand marshal of the Pennzoil 400, I would’ve never believed them,” said Pritchett. “It’s such a prestigious race and to be a part of the Pennzoil family is incredible. Their support of our team is so far reaching. From the backing of the technology they put into our cars to involving us in their other levels of motorsports, it’s a dream come true.

“Being a grand marshal at a Cup Series race, it really doesn’t get bigger than that. I’m very honored and I look forward to seeing some of our crossover fans and introducing NHRA drag racing to a new crop of fans on a great stage in motorsports.”

Hagan is coming off a victory in last weekend’s Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

“To be the grand marshal at the Pennzoil 400 is a huge honor,” said Hagan. “Pennzoil had us out at the event last year doing some cross-promotion. They do such a great job of getting their drivers out there and in front of fans, and we’re proud to be partnered with them and banner their brand here at DSR.

“I tried the whole circle track thing growing up,” he added. “My family actually owns a half-mile oval and my dad was always pushing me to race those cars, and after I crashed about four cars he was like ‘never mind, you don’t have a future in this,’ (laughs). I have a lot of respect for those guys and what they do. It’s going to be fun to get out there and hopefully meet a lot of NASCAR fans and convert them over to NHRA fans.”


Qualified: No. 2 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 15 Phil Burkhart Jr. 

The Results: 
Q1: 3.942 E.T. at 321.50 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.900 E.T. at 327.82 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q4: 3.881 E.T. at 323.43 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Six

"I’m feeling really, really confident in this Sandvik Coromant Hellcat. (Crew chief) Dickie Venables seems to have a really good handle on it. We’ve been down the race track three times out of the three qualifying sessions. We were ‘top three’ of each session. We ran into an issue with the five disc (clutch) clunking a little bit out there, but NHRA really has the race track glued in so it’s not been such an issue. Hopefully tomorrow the track will be prepped well again and we can lay some power down and win some rounds. All in all, we’re very pleased with how this Sandvik Dodge has been running."



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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