NHRA Mello Yello Series world champions honored in West Los Angeles ceremony
A trio of multi-time world-championship winners, Tony Schumacher, Matt Hagan and Andrew Hines, were joined by first-time champ Erica Enders-Stevens as the headliners who were crowned Monday evening during the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in West Los Angeles.
The four drivers were honored for their season-long achievements and presented with checks and trophies for winning 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championship titles during the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s playoffs. Read More
Matt Wins Pomona
The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series finale couldn’t have been any sweeter for Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Funny Car team.
Matt earned the 2014 NHRA Funny Car world championship in the semifinals round by defeating Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. and then Matt’s Dodge Charger R/T beat John Force in the final round of the NHRA Auto Club Finals for the event title.
“The Championship was really what we were after,” Matt said. “The race win was the icing on the cake. But it solidified that we had a great race car. To be the best you have to beat the best and everyone says he is the best and we beat him. It was nice to finish it out strong. We beat him here this time last year and we did it again so hats off to him they had a great car but we had the better one today.”
Matt, a two-time NHRA Funny Car champion, was intent on making it a point that their championship was not won in a single day, but made up of little victories over the year that included four event titles and two runner-up finishes.
“It may have come down to just one day but really it’s the last six races that led us to this point. Making the right decisions, digging deep and doing a gut-check out there. At the end of the day it comes down to my crew chief, and my crew guys that have busted their butts day-in and day-out to make it happen and I can’t be prouder of them. It was one common goal and 10 guys working together, and at the end of the day we got to hold both trophies up.”
Matt Wins 2014 Funny Car Championship
(W) Matt Hagan (Mopar/Rocky Boots Charger) 0.100 4.065 315.86
(L) Tommy Johnson Jr. (Make-A-Wish Charger) 0.062 6.184 107.28
3:37 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 75 degrees, relative humidity 32 percent, barometer 28.99 inches, adjusted altitude 2,538 feet, track temperature 87 degrees.
Hagan is 4 - 1 against Johnson Jr. in prior events.
Johnson's car is away first, but moves out of the groove and shakes, rattles, and gets sideways.
Hagen will get the easy win and a step closer to the Championship. Nice clean pass.
Matt Hagan's incremental times: 60ft-0.893 sec., 330ft-2.315, 660ft-3.288/266.37 mph.
(W) John Force (Castrol GTX High Mileage Mustang - 0.062 - 4.044 - 320.58
(L) Alexis DeJoria (Patron XO Cafe Camry) 0.091 6.953 94.32
Force will need to run better than a 4.004 to set the record and steal the Championship, otherwise, regardless if he wins in the final round, Hagan is the Champion.
DeJoria is second off the line and then is up in smoke, much like Johnson.
Force makes another strong pass, but it's just not quick enough to get the record. Matt Hagan is the 2014 Funny Car Champion!
John Force's incremental times: 60ft-0.916 sec., 330ft-2.332, 660ft-3.281/272.50 mph.
Finals VS John Force and John has lane choice.