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Jun 18, 2014 - 06:23 AM
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2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA New England Nationals Event Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jun 18, 2014 - 06:21 AM
2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA New England Nationals Event Preview

Matt Hagan will be on a mission during this weekend's New England NHRA Nationals in Epping, N.H.

That mission is to score an event win at New England Dragway with the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots team.


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"It's time to win, there's no doubt about that," said Matt. "Our performance in Bristol really got confidence back in our team which was huge. It's no secret that we've just kind of been hit or miss this year and we're going to hit our stride soon.

"I have all the confidence in the world in Dickie (Venables) and this team and I feel like we're close to getting that first win."

The team started the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season on a high note with a runner-up finish at the season-opener in Pomona, Calif., but since then have advanced to the semifinals only twice - including Sunday at Bristol, Tenn., - and suffered five first-round losses.

The Mopar team is 10th in Funny Car points standings but less than 80 points, or four rounds of racing, out of fifth.

"We're 10th and we need to make up some ground. We need to go rounds and pick up a trophy here in this four-race stretch. It's definitely doable. We're all close in points so it's possible to make a big jump.

"This is a tough part of our schedule with four in a row. It's just non-stop for the guys and they can't get down. We got some momentum going and that's important. They're all excited to go to the next one and try to turn on some win lights."

Although the most recent event in Bristol, Tenn., was close to Matt's hometown and he had a big cheering section, the fans at New England Dragway have him excited.

"I'm really looking forward to Epping. It's a great area. It was packed last year. I really hope to see that again."

MATT HAGAN, Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T
Last event Bristol, Tenn. (June 15): Qualified No. 8; lost in semifinals to Tommy Johnson Jr.
A year ago at Epping (Inaugural): Qualified No. 2; lost in first round to Blake Alexander
Career at Epping: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0

Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 10th 10 0 1 2 2 5 0 0 9-10
CAREER 130 10 15 18 39 43 15 4 159-116
Best Time, Speed: 3.986 sec. (7-26-2013, Sonoma, Calif.); 322.27 mph (9-17-11, Charlotte 2)

NHRA MELLO YELLO STANDINGS (after 10 of 24 events)
driver (wins) points points behind
1. Robert Hight (4) 905 ----
2. John Force (1) 640 -265
3. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 627 -278
4. Alexis DeJoria (2) 619 -286
5. Del Worsham 593 -312
6. Courtney Force (1) 581 -324
7. RON CAPPS 571 -334
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 538 -367
9. Tim Wilkerson 533 -372
10. MATT HAGAN 527 -378
11. JACK BECKMAN 512 -383

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