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2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA New England Nationals Event Recap: First Round
Posted by: newsla on Jun 23, 2014 - 06:12 AM
2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA New England Nationals Event Recap: First Round

The Mopar Express Lane team with Matt Hagan were on the short end of a close drag race during Sunday's NHRA New England Nationals eliminations in Epping, N.H.


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After qualifying in the top half of the 16-car championship eliminations field with a 4.07-second lap, Matt was paired against 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force for the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.

The Mopar Dodge Charger R/T team led by Dickie Venables posted a slightly better elapsed time at 4.119-seconds, but Force staged his Funny Car deep and left the starting line first and earned the opening round win with a 4.129-second lap.

"He (Force) was in deep and it comes up on the board as a hole shot loss," Hagan said of the match that was decided by feet. "But the reality is that they just out ran us a little bit and that's how it goes. I knew he was going to go deep but it was important for us to go after a good elapsed time and try and get lane choice for the next round."

Hagan now has a mark of 9-11 in 20 rounds this season (.450) and is 10-10 in 20 career races against the winningest driver in NHRA history.

"It was a close drag race but that's how it falls sometimes," Hagan said. "We'll just regroup and get ready for the next one. There's no doubt that we have a good car, a good team but we just need to get some round wins and get our season turned around."

Despite the opening round loss, the Mopar team remains in the top-10 in NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car points standings.

"We just have to keep digging," Hagan added. "I think the guys are still in pretty good spirits and we know it's going to turn around, it's just a matter of time. We're going back to a place that we won last year and a few times and that definitely helps our confidence.

"Dickie knows what he's doing and we will get our season turned around and start turning on win lights real soon."

The following are DSR's eliminations results and other notes from the NHRA New England Nationals:

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

MATT HAGAN, Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 8
First round: John Force (.048 4.129 secs., 312.50 mph) def. HAGAN (.062 4.119 secs., 305.36 mph)
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)

(unofficial, after 11 of 24 events)
Driver (wins) points points behind
1. Robert Hight (4) 970 ---
2. Alexis DeJoria (2) 716 -254
3. John Force (1) 713 -257
4. RON CAPPS (1) 683 -287
5. TOMMY JOHNSON, JR. (1) 682 -288
6. Courtney Force (1) 658 -312
7. Del Worsham 645 -325
8. Cruz Pedregon (1) 599 -371
9. Tim Wilkerson 569 -401
10. MATT HAGAN 564 -406
11. JACK BECKMAN 547 -423

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