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2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA U.S. Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 1
Posted by: newsla on Sep 01, 2014 - 06:26 AM
2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA U.S. Nationals Qualifying Report: No. 1

Matt Hagan was able to add another first to his NHRA career on Sunday afternoon at the prestigious 60th anniversary NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.


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Matt, who was the first driver in NHRA history to record the first sub-four second run near Charlotte in Sept. 2011 (3.995-seconds), became the first driver at Lucas Oil Raceway to record a three-second Funny Car pass during the fourth qualifying session on Sunday afternoon.

Crew chief Dickie Venables tuned the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T to a 3.998-second pass at 316.01 mph to earn the No. 1 qualifying position for the second consecutive year and third overall at the U.S. Nationals for Hagan. It is his first pole of the season and 16th career No. 1 qualifying award, earning the Mopar team the celebrated green Mello Yello NHRA No. 1 qualifier hat.

"It's cool to lay down history like that," Matt said of the first three-second Funny Car pass at the most fabled track on tour. "The track is great out there and Dickie made a great call. Even with the sun out, to be able to run down through there. That was something I was like 'man, I don't know'.

"He told me not to worry about it and that we didn't have anything to lose. He was pretty confident in it and he kept telling the guys that we were going to push for it and sure enough it was just smooth as silk and we laid it down."

Matt credits the hard work by his Mopar team after an engine explosion on Saturday night led to a late night of repairs and bringing out the reliable Mopar Express Lane body after the 426 Race HEMI 50th anniversary Tribute Dodge Charger R/T body was damaged.

"Everything has to line up and it all has to come full circle for that to happen so those guys spent a really long night out here last night and got out here early this morning and put the car back together after that mishap last night and just did a phenomenal job.

"I'm really, really proud of my guys and Dickie. It shows what a great team we have here in place at DSR. We have a great shot this year."

Matt will race Bob Bode in the opening round of Monday's Labor Day championship eliminations that begin at 11 a.m. ET.

"I feel like we have a great race car for race day tomorrow."

Racing fans and friends of DSR helped raise a record $42,058 to benefit Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and Camp Riley for Friday afternoon's ninth annual DSR Open House for Riley Kids. The funds push DSR contributions to Riley to over $280,000.

No. 1 Qualifier: Matt Hagan (DSR) 3.998 sec., 316.01 mph

MATT HAGAN, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 1
First round: HAGAN vs. Bode
FRIDAY: 4.067 sec., 318.47 mph, Session 1
SATURDAY: 4.021, 318.99, Session 2; 4.713, 175.87, Session 3
SUNDAY: 3.998, 316.01, Session 4; 4.103, 311.63, Session 5

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