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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.”

By NHRA - Two-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan hopes to get his first win both in his new Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car body and at a track known for great performances as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing tour moves to the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
 
Matt Hagan

Since debuting a new Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat body three races ago, Matt Hagan has made steady progress, including a No. 1 qualifier at the most recent NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in Seattle. Heading into this weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, the two-time Funny Car world champion wants to grab even more momentum, which would mean getting his first career victory at the fan-favorite track.

Currently fourth in points, Hagan has been impressive at times this season in his 10,000-horsepower Mopar Express Lane Funny Car, winning back-to-back races earlier this summer in Norwalk and Epping. The goal is to regain that consistency in the new body approaching the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, putting extra importance on running well this weekend.

“We’re still learning with the new body but it’s going to be better, that’s for sure,” said Hagan, who has 29 career wins. “It’s just a matter of learning what the car wants and it’s taken a few races to get there. Brainerd has always been a fast track and there should be some fast racing. For us, it’s about understanding more with the new body and pushing a little harder. It’s coming around. Between Brainerd and then Indy, I think we’ll be good.”

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Next NHRA Event 2018

FC Mello Yello Points

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Robert Hight (2445)
2. J.R. Todd (2434)
3. Ron Capps (2336)
4. Tim Wilkerson (2334)
5. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2296)
6. Courtney Force (2264)
7. Matt Hagan (2241)
8. Jack Beckman (2229)
9. John Force (2204)
10. Shawn Langdon (2152)