2013 NHRA: Matt Hagan AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 3
It's only fitting that Matt Hagan is carrying the Freightliner colors on his 10,000-horsepower Dodge R/T Funny Car this weekend for the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals.
His Funny Car car features Freightliner's slogan "Run Smart" and that's what Hagan's crew chief Dickie Venables does.
Venables tuned Hagan to a 4.093-second pass at 312.78 mph, which is the top speed for Funny Cars at the event near Dallas, in the second and final qualifying session on Saturday at Texas Motorplex to earn the No. 3 spot for Sunday's 16-car eliminations. Friday's two qualifying sessions were rained out.
"We are absolutely running smart with Freightliner here this weekend," Hagan said. "Dickie (Venables) had two shots at this track and two opportunities to mess it up and he didn't. We went down the race track both times and got better.
"We were second best of that (final) session. It was awesome. We went out there and got in the show like we were supposed to on the first lap. Then we were able to lean on it a little bit. We are just running smart like this Freightliner car says."
Hagan and the Freightliner/Mopar/Rocky Boots Funny Car will race Jeff Arend in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations which begin at 11 a.m. (CT). Hagan and Arend have met in the first round in the two previous events and are 1-1 against each other.
"We can't take him lightly," Hagan said. "We just have to do what we know how to do. Dickie and (assistant) Mike Knudsen have put together a great package, a great race car and a great group of guys working on this race car.
"I have all the confidence in the world that we're going to go rounds tomorrow and have some fun doing it."
MATT HAGAN, Freightliner/Mopar/Rocky Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying position: No. 3
First round opponent: Jeff Arend
Session 1: 4.203, 300.06
Session 2: 4.093, 312.78
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(Official through Sept. 21 near Dallas; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. MATT HAGAN 2,252 (--)
2. RON CAPPS 2,170 (-82)
3. Robert Hight 2,169 (-83)
4. JACK BECKMAN 2,156 (-96)
5. John Force 2,148 (-104)
6. Courtney Force 2,141 (-111)
6t. Cruz Pedregon 2141 (-111)
8. JOHNNY GRAY 2,135 (-117)
9. Tim Wilkerson 2,089 (-163)
10. Del Worsham 2,068 (-184)
2013 REGULAR SEASONS: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon, GRAY, GRAY, HAGAN, J. Force, C. Force, HAGAN, GRAY, C. Pedregon, CAPPS, HAGAN, CAPPS, Hight.
2013 COUNTDOWN WINNERS: Hight.
DALLAS FALL NATIONALS INFO
SCHEDULE FOR TOP FUEL, FUNNY CAR
(times are CT)
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
(times are ET)
Saturday: 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m., ESPN News
Sunday: 8:30 p.m., championship eliminations, delayed
Sunday: High 82; 0 percent chance of rain
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Sept. 13-15 -Charlotte, N.C. (Finals: TF/Morgan Lucas def. SPENCER MASSEY; FC/Robert Hight def. MATT HAGAN)
Sept. 19-22 - Texas Motorplex, Dallas
Sept. 27-29 - Gateway Motorsports Park, St. Louis
Oct. 3-6 - Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa.
Oct. 24-27 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
Nov. 7-10 - Auto Club Raceway, Pomona