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May 25, 2014 - 07:28 AM
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2014 NHRA: Former World Champion Hagan Only Dsr Funny Car Driver Qualified In Top-Eight For Kansas Eliminations
Posted by: newsla on May 25, 2014 - 07:26 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Former World Champion Hagan Only Dsr Funny Car Driver Qualified In Top-Eight For Kansas Eliminations


Matt Hagan and the Rocky Boots/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T team started the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season the way they raced through much of last year when it won five event titles and finished second in the championship battle.

 

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Matt opened this year by advancing to the championship round of the Winternationals at Pomona, Calif., but over the past six races has lost in the first round four times.

But the Rocky Boots/Mopar team led by crew chief Dickie Venables has been working its way back into contending form and took another step Saturday when it recorded a best qualifying run of 4.064 seconds at 312.21 mph to earn the No. 4 qualifying spot, its best of the year.

"Dickie and our Rocky team have been getting us close to where we all want to be, and it showed on that last run," said Matt, who has won 10 event titles in his career and the 2011 NHRA Funny Car world championship for Don Schumacher Racing.

Matt, who will open Sunday's first round against Chad Head, will start the day ranked ninth in the series points standings but is only 59 behind DSR teammate Ron Capps, who is ranked fourth. Each round win on Sunday is worth 20 points.

"This is only our eighth race of the year and there are still 10 more before the Countdown to the Championship, but we don't like being ninth and plan to start moving up," Matt said.

"Most important to us right now is to win rounds on Sunday and leave here with that Wally (trophy)."

Rain Friday evening washed out the second of two sessions and more fell throughout Saturday morning to delay the start of qualifying for about 90 minutes. Sunday's 16-car championship eliminations are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. (CT).

The following are Hagan's qualifying results and other event notes for the NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.

FUNNY CAR
No. 1 Qualifier: Courtney Force (John Force Racing) 4.009 sec., 322.96 mph (both track records)

MATT HAGAN, Rocky Boots/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 4
SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATIONS
FIRST ROUND: HAGAN vs. Chad Head (No. 13)

QUALIFYING
FRIDAY: 4.098 sec., 314.39 mph, (Session 1); (Session 2, rained out)
SATURDAY: 7.622, 87.95, (Session 3); 4.064, 312.21, (Session 4)

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