SEMIFINAL FINISH DURING NHRA SONOMA NATIONALS HAS HAGAN EAGER FOR THIRD LEG OF NHRA ‘WESTERN SWING’ NEXT WEEKEND NEAR SEATTLE
SONOMA, Calif. (July 27, 2014) – Matt Hagan fell short of honoring the 426 race HEMI 50th Anniversary Tribute Funny Car in the Sonoma winner’s circle on Sunday but he is eager for another opportunity next weekend.
In the opening round of NHRA Sonoma Nationals competition at Sonoma Raceway, Matt, the No. 5 qualifier, defeated Tony Pedregon before defeating Tim Wilkerson in the second round.
The team led by crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Mike Knudsen had lane choice in the semifinal against Courtney Force but their 10,000-horsepower Dodge Charger R/T lost traction and Force went on to win.
“It was a good race for us this weekend,” he said. “We were solid in qualifying that gave us some good data coming into race day and that got us some round wins. We were just pushing it a little too hard there in the semifinal and that’s what you have to do out here because competition is so darn tough.”
It was the third semifinal finish in 15 races for Matt and the Mopar team who have one event title and a runner-up this season.
Matt was thrilled that the second stop on NHRA’s Western Swing that began last weekend near Denver and ends next weekend near Seattle was kind to his Mopar team.
“You know, you roll into Denver and we change so much on the car that it makes it tough to get everything switched back and get back to normal. But Dickie and the guys did an outstanding job coming into here and we came off the trailer fast.
“We’ll go on to Seattle where we won last year and try to repeat. That’s our goal.”
MOPAR TEAM HAS SOLID DODGE CHARGER R/T FUNNY CAR THAT PLACED HAGAN FIFTH FOR SUNDAY’S NHRA ELIMINATIONS AT SONOMA RACEWAY
SONOMA, Calif. (July 26, 2014) – A well-rounded race car is important in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and that’s what Matt Hagan has heading into Sunday’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals eliminations at Sonoma Raceway.
The 426 Race HEMI 50th Anniversary Tribute Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car qualified fifth for Sunday’s eliminations that begin at 11 a.m. PT.
While his best qualifying effort, a 4.075-second lap at 307 mph, came on Friday night at the picturesque Sonoma facility, it was the 4.169-second effort on Saturday afternoon that impressed Matt.
“We weren’t the best of that third session but we had a great lap in the heat,” Matt said at the conclusion of Saturday’s final qualifying run. “We didn’t make it down the track in the final session but we were pushing it to see how far it would go and we ended up getting some really good data for Sunday.
“Dickie (Venables) has done a great job this weekend and I think we have a solid hot rod for Sunday’s eliminations. First round should be a little bit cooler and maybe even overcast which we haven’t seen yet this weekend. We know we have some good data from Friday night for that.”
Matt will race Tony Pedregon in the first round.
“We just need to go rounds on Sunday and gain some more points,” Matt said. “It would be pretty cool to get this special HEMI 50th anniversary car in the winner’s circle for all the folks at Mopar.”