News

Latest News

DSB_7422_0.JPG

BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 18, 2017) – Matt Hagan and his Don Schumacher Racing-owned Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger R/T Powered by Pennzoil has experienced the highest of highs in Thunder Valley at the famed Bristol Dragway.

Hagan, who calls Christiansburg, Va., some two hours north, home, reached the final round the past two years at his home NHRA race track with one of the most emotional of his 25 NHRA Funny Car victories coming in 2015 when he scored the narrow victory over DSR teammate Ron Capps.

“This is always a big race for us here at Bristol,” Hagan said after another strong performance at Thunder Valley. “You want to do well and win at your home track in front of so many friends and family and we’ve done pretty well here the past few years. Another decent weekend with going to the semis after we won one and went to the final round the past few years.”

Hagan, flying the bright yellow colors of Sandvik Coromant, the official cutting tools of DSR, led DSR’s contingent of Funny Cars in qualifying at Bristol Dragway placing his Charger in the No. 3 position. He defeated Alexis DeJoria and 16-time series champion John Force before running into Capps, the defending series champion and current Funny Car juggernaut who advanced to his seventh final round in 11 races this season.

“Losing to a teammate is never easy,” Hagan said after spending Father’s Day at the track with his son, Colby. “We’ll get there. We should have won it. We just need to go down the race track. We didn’t do that, so we’ll move on to Norwalk. We were just pressing too hard and smoked the tires.

“Every race counts and every lap matters. Capps is building a commanding lead on us and the rest of the field and we have to put them on the trailer when we race them. The ultimate goal is to be the points leader and those guys are getting done on race day and our goal is to do the same.”

Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane team, led by crew chief Dickie Venables, will have a chance to nip away at Capps’ lead when the NHRA series resumes next weekend, June 23-25, in Norwalk, Ohio, about an hour west of Cleveland.

GN3_0492.JPG

Matt Hagan and the Sandvik Coromant 2017 Dodge Charger R/T in the No. 3 spot in Funny Car. Hagan with crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Michael Knudsen saved their best for last with a time of 3.925 (326.00).

Qualified: No. 3
SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS - First round: Jim Campbell

QUALIFYING RESULTS
FRIDAY: 6.060 sec., 119.59 mph, (Session 1); 3.984, 323.81, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 6.134, 111.87, (Session 3); 3.925, 326.00, (Session 4)
 
A year ago at Bristol: Qualified No. 4, lost in championship round to Tommy Johnson Jr.
Career at Bristol: Wins 1 (2015); Runner-ups 1 (2016); Poles 0

1605-03184.JPG

BRISTOL, TN – June 13, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  Racing just a couple hours from his Christiansburg, Va. home, Funny Car driver Matt Hagan relishes the opportunity to compete at picturesque Bristol Dragway, the site of this weekend’s 17th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

After trying for years to win at his home track in Funny Car, Hagan came through for the first time in 2015, advancing to the final round again last year. Winning on Father’s Day weekend added an extra special touch for Hagan, making it such a memorable moment the two-time world champion hopes to repeat it again in his 10,000-horsepower Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T.

“It doesn’t get any better,” said Hagan, who is currently second in Funny Car points. “I’ll have my boy there this weekend, my family will be there and it’s just a blessing to have them all so close. At this race you have so many people you grew up with that come out and watch you. They saw you racing at a local level and they’ve been able to grow with you. For them to see you do well, I think it’s a pretty special thing. Some of those people really, really care about you and your career.”

Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including final eliminations coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, June 18. It is the 11th of 24 events during a 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season that has been a massive success for Hagan.

1722-08259.JPG

Photo by Nastase - Matt Hagan collected his third win of the 2017 season when he outlasted Courtney Force to win the NHRA New England Nationals. It was Hagan’s first win in Epping and the 25th of his career. That breaks a tie with teammate Jack Beckman for ninth on the all-time Funny Car wins list. Hagan saved his best race-day run for last, powering to a 3.897 to defeat Courtney Force, who slowed to a 3.92 after running low e.t. of eliminations in the semifinals.

The best ending was when two-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane 2017 Dodge Charger R/T team led by Dickie Venables stopped a losing streak to John Force in the opening round. Hagan then went on to win the New England title by beating Force's daughter, Courtney Force, in the final round of eliminations at Epping, N.H., for his third event title of the season. J. Force had beaten Hagan in their last four meetings.
 
Hagan powered to the 25th victory of his career and third of the season with a 3.897 pass at 332.59 in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger Funny Car to defeat C. Force who ran a 3.927 at 332.34.  
 
"I knew we had a great racecar today and the conditions were great so we knew we would be better than our qualifying times," Hagan said. "Everything went the way it should have today, and things seemed to fall in place for us." 
 
"Obviously, you have to race the racetrack, but you race the racer as well. People say they don't think about who is beside you. But I think that's crap. Everybody does. Their cadence and tendencies and what they're going to do and different things like that."
 
Hagan's team stumbled on both qualifying runs Friday but rallied on Saturday to qualify fourth.
 
"We didn't go down the racetrack (Friday) and you're thinking, 'oh man, what do we do?' But Dickie was like, 'man we're better than that.' So, he reeled it back in and made two really nice laps on Saturday and built a lot of confidence coming into Sunday."

mhologo250

   

Next NHRA Event 2018

FC Mello Yello Points

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Courtney Force (546)
2. Jack Beckman (538)
3. Matt Hagan (487)
4. Tommy Johnson Jr. (436)
5. J.R. Todd (428)
6. Robert Hight (421)
7. Ron Capps (404)
8. Cruz Pedregon (357)
9. Shawn Langdon (301)
10. Tim Wilkerson (293)