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2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA New England Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 8
Posted by: newsla on Jun 22, 2014 - 07:04 AM
2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA New England Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 8

Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane Funny Car team accomplished the first part of their task to win the NHRA New England Nationals this weekend by qualifying in the top half of the 16-car field for Sunday's championship eliminations.


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Hagan's best lap of the weekend, a 4.073-second lap that placed them eighth in the order, came on Saturday afternoon in low 70-degree temperatures which teams also will enjoy for Sunday's final eliminations which begin at 11 a.m. ET.

"We came out today and we made a good lap," Matt said. "It's important that we qualified in the top half of the field and get that lane choice on Sunday morning. That gives us all confidence."

Matt and the team led by crew chief Dickie Venables will race John Force in the opening round of eliminations.

"It's a big first round, that's for sure," Hagan said of his match against the 16-time NHRA champion. "But I won't lie, I love it. It's two good race teams battling it out in the first round. That should be a final round match-up, for sure, but we're ready to get after it.

"We just keep building on our good runs and that's great. Dickie has a handle on this car and he knows its limits. I'm excited to get in my race car on Sunday morning and hopefully go out here and turn on four win lights and win one of these things.

"It seems like it's overdue for us but you have to realize how hard these races are to win these days so we just have to keep digging and keep working hard."

Hagan and company are searching for their first event win of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season and are in the fight to stay in the top 10 points before the NHRA Countdown to the Championship begins this fall in September.

"We need a good day on Sunday for the points," Hagan added. "We're all bunched up in points right now and if we go some rounds we'll probably jump up a couple spots and that would be huge. We saw TJ (Tommy Johnson Jr) go from seventh to third last weekend at Bristol."

The follow are Hagan's qualifying notes and other qualifying results from the NHRA New England Nationals:

No. 1 Qualifier: Robert Hight (John Force Racing) 3.988 sec.*, 321.58 mph (*track record)

MATT HAGAN, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 8
First round opponent: John Force (No. 9)
FRIDAY: 4.083 sec., 297.61 mph (Session 1), 5.016, 151.12 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.073, 314.17 (Session 3), 4.428, 199.11 (Session 4)

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