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May 18, 2014 - 07:52 AM
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2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA Southern Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 4
Posted by: newsla on May 18, 2014 - 07:51 AM
2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA Southern Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 4

It's not typical to get two chances at evening qualifying in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series but a rain delay on Saturday pushed the qualifying sessions three hours behind schedule giving teams another chance at great Atlanta Dragway conditions under the lights.


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On Friday night Matt Hagan's Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car was unable to make a full pull but crew chief Dickie Venables got a second chance on Saturday and took advantage.

Hagan posted his best lap of the weekend at 4.049 seconds and 318 mph to earn the No. 4 qualifying spot for Sunday's 34th annual NHRA Southern Nationals near Atlanta.

"That's the thing about Dickie, you give him some time and he'll figure it out," Matt said. "I think he's been as surprised as we have that it's been a struggle so far this year. He's got it together and there's never a doubt in my mind that it'll come around."

It's Hagan's best start of the season through seven races and the team is hopeful for a successful race day.

"I couldn't be more proud of these guys," Matt said. "It was a good day for our team. There's no way around it that we've been struggling all year long so putting two good runs together was a huge confidence booster for our guys and for Dickie and for me.

"We're still trying to stay humble because we're not out of the woods yet and there's a lot of racing ahead of us and a lot of runs to make. I think the biggest thing that we can do is grow from this and just keep on the right track.

"It was a huge day for us and we'd like to turn it into four win lights tomorrow."

No. 1 Qualifier: Alexis DeJoria (Kalitta Motorsports) 4.012 sec. (track record), 313.95 mph

MATT HAGAN, Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 4
First round opponent:
FRIDAY: 4.204 sec., 291.63 mph (Session 1); 7.728, 79.33 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.103, 315.78 (Session 3); 4.049, 318.32 mph (Session 4)

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