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Mar 30, 2014 - 04:59 AM
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2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals Qualifying Results: No. 5
Posted by: newsla on Mar 30, 2014 - 04:57 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals Qualifying Results: No. 5


It's been a feel good weekend for Matt Hagan and his Mopar Express Lane Funny Car crew at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

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The Mopar/Rocky Boots team went to the final round at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season-opener at Pomona but then struggled in qualifying and suffered first-round losses at the following two events prior to this weekend's Las Vegas event.

Crew chief Dickie Venables vowed after the Gainesville, Fla., event that he and the team would "get back to racing."

And that they did with a stellar qualifying performance in the 15th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at Las Vegas. Hagan's 4.131-second pass, 4.063-second lap and 4.046-second run were the best in each of the first three qualifying session.

"We've been running our new car for the last three races and it's been kind of hit or miss so Dickie said let's go back to what we know. He did that and we pulled it out of the box and went straight to the top.

"We definitely have a great race car. It's running strong and responding to all the changes that Dickie is making. It's just one of those things where you just feel good about it. I think that it is definitely something we needed after having two bad races."

Hagan held the No. 1 position until the final qualifying session when he slipped to the No. 5 spot on Saturday afternoon in overcast conditions. Four Funny Cars, including DSR teammate Tommy Johnson Jr., bested his 4.046-second pass in the final session.

"You never know what tomorrow brings," Matt said. "It's tricky, that's why we race them. Just the morale of the crew, everyone is cutting up and laughing and it's just good. It's nice to bring it out and come right back to the top. I'm excited about tomorrow. Hoping for four win lights and win in Vegas.

"I love being here in Vegas. I love the track, the people. The whole thing is just a neat deal. It's nice to be able to go low in both sessions."

FUNNY CAR
No. 1 Qualifier: Courtney Force (John Force Racing), 4.006 seconds, 325.37 mph

MATT HAGAN, Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 5
First round: HAGAN v. Alexis DeJoria
QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 4.131 sec., 306.74 mph, (Session 1); 4.063 sec., 317.05 mph, (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.046, 318.17 MPH (Session 3); 6.744, 97.21 (Session 4)


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