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MATT HAGAN
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.
 
Quotable:
"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."

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NHRA Indianapolis Event Highlights: 

  • 2016 event champion 
  • Five-time No. 1 qualifier (2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017) 

 
2017 Indianapolis Recap:
Qualified No. 1; First round exit (defeated by Jim Campbell in E1)
 
Last event (Brainerd):
Qualified third; First round exit (defeated by Jack Beckman in E1)

2018 Season Statistics:
24 round wins; ranked fifth in points 
 
Career Statistics:
233 races; 29 wins; 34 No. 1 qualifiers

Noteworthy:

  • Reset the track speed (338.77-mph) and Funny Car E.T. (3.799 seconds) record en route to claiming the 2017 Funny Car pole  
  • career-best E.T.  
  • Made his NHRA Funny Car debut at the 2008 U.S. Nationals 


Quotable:
"We changed our motor combination around during Indy test so I feel like we'll come out with a new game plan; everything stronger. We've been off a little bit but after the test session, I feel like we're headed in the right direction going into the big Indy race and also the Countdown. We've got positive vibes rolling into this deal. 

"It's also a big weekend with Riley Kids. It's a cause near and dear to my heart, obviously, because I have four kids and couldn't imagine that helpless feeling if one of them was sick. When we go to Riley and visit the kids earlier in the week, it really hits home. I want to put a smile on their face more than I want my race car to go fast. 

"We've got a lot coming up. Indy is a big race. I'm glad I've won it and been able to check it off the list, so no pressure there but i want to win it again. We're all greedy like that."

matcotoolchest donschumacher johnforceIncluded in the items up for bid at the silent auction are a Matco Tools toolbox signed by Don Schumacher and John Force.

On Friday, August 31, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT, DSR will pull back the curtain and open the doors to its 145,000-square foot state-of-the-art racing facility for the 13th annual DSR Open House presented by Pennzoil. The annual Open House event, along with the yearly ‘This is How We Roll’ bowling function, taking place on December 5, are the team’s two major fundraisers for Riley Hospital. Since the partnership began in 2006, the largest team in drag racing has successfully raised more than half a million dollars for Riley.

In addition to meet-and-greets with DSR’s star-studded lineup of drivers Jack Beckman, Antron Brown, Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, Leah Pritchett, Tony Schumacher and Tommy Johnson Jr., fans will also have the opportunity to interact with International Motorsports Hall-of-Fame team owner, Don Schumacher, at the Open House.

There will be more than 200 custom muscle cars and motorcycles on display, and attendees will be treated to a cacklefest when nitro-burning vintage dragsters fire up simultaneously. Food trucks and Papa John’s Pizza will be available for hungry patrons, and guests will have the opportunity to bid on rare and one-of-a-kind items in the silent auction benefitting Riley. To support the DSR/Riley Children’s Foundation partnership, please visit donate.rileykids.org dsr18 or dsr2018.givesmart.com to bid on Open House auction items. 

Qualified: No. 3 (3.990 E.T. at 324.51 MPH)

The Results:
E1: 4.101 E.T. at 268.44 MPH defeated by Jack Beckman 4.044 E.T. at 312.64 MPH

Race Recap:
Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver Matt Hagan, a three-time event winner this season, entered eliminations on Sunday searching for his first career win at Brainerd International Raceway. Hagan, starting solidly in the top-half of the field from the No. 3 spot, drew teammate Jack Beckman in a matchup of Mopar HEMI machines. Both drivers dropped a cylinder, but Hagan’s Dodge was unable to match Beckman’s quicker and faster pass, keeping a Brainerd win as one of the few “to-do” items on the two-time Funny Car champion’s bucket list.

Quotable:
“Right now, we are working to get this new body dialed in. It’s changed the whole dynamic of our race car; the weight transfer is different, and this thing is making a lot more downforce on the nose. The car is going to be better, the numbers show it. We just have to figure out what this thing is asking for, and what adjustments we need to make. If anybody can figure it out, (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) can. It’s going to be really, really important for us to test at Indy and make those two or three days there really count.”

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Qualified: No. 3 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 14 Jack Beckman

The Results: 
Q1: 4.797 E.T. at 169.68 MPH
Q2: 3.990 E.T. at 324.51 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q3: 4.203 E.T. at 240.77 MPH
Q4: 4.421 E.T. at 200.23 MPH

Bonus Points: Two

Quotable:
“It was a weird qualifying weekend, we went down the track once, smoked the tires three times. We’re still trying to get a handle on things and figure things out, but (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) is a smart dude. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but I think we’ll be alright. We’re facing a teammate tomorrow and we’re going to bring our A-game and do the best job we can.”

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Next NHRA Event

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