HAGAN HOPEFUL FOR SUCCESSFUL SUNDAY AFTER QUALIFYING SEVENTH FOR SUNDAY’S NHRA MIDWEST NATIONALS ELIMINATIONS NEAR ST. LOUIS
MADISON, Ill. (Sept. 27, 2014) – Saturday afternoon at the NHRA Midwest Nationals qualifying was interesting for teams in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series.
With a second opportunity to improve their positions in ideal conditions, Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots team did just that and avoided an eliminations match-up against Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.
But they didn’t get an easy draw in first-round opponent Alexis DeJoria.
“Alexis is tough, even though they’ve only been down the track one time in qualifying,” Matt said after Alexis and the team were not qualified until their 4.10-second run in the fourth and final session. “Tommy DeLago, my old crew chief, he’s tough. He’s smart and we won a championship together so I know he’s going to bring his A game tomorrow.”
The Mopar team led by crew chief Dickie Venables sits third in NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car points standings following two of six Countdown to the Championship playoff events after winning the delayed NHRA Carolina Nationals a week ago to kick off the Countdown.
“This is about winning championships now,” Matt said. “This is going to be one of those days where you don’t really know what’s going to happen. I wish we had a couple more runs that we felt really good about. We had two 4.07s in the evening sessions but we race in the daytime.”
Matt’s two daytime runs during qualifying resulted in a 4.24 and 4.55 elapsed times as the Dodge Charger R/T was off-pace.
“First round will probably be similar conditions but as the day goes on it’s going to get trickier out there. Hopefully, it will all come together. I look forward to tomorrow. This is what it’s all about. It’s make or break time and time to step up.
HAGAN HOPES TO KEEP MOMENTUM ROLLING WITH MOPAR EXPRESS LANE DODGE AT THIS WEEKEND’S NHRA MIDWEST NATIONALS NEAR ST. LOUIS
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 23, 2014) – Matt Hagan started off NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship playoffs the best possible way – with a win.
Now the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots team will look to keep the momentum going at this weekend’s NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis.
With two of the six-race playoff events completed in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, every round is crucial for the team led by crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Michael Knudsen.
“You know, we got off to a really strong start with a win and we kind of stumbled in the second round at Dallas but that’s OK,” Matt said. “I’m really proud of how this team is coming around when it counts.”
Matt has a runner-up finish at the Gateway facility in 2012 and the team was the No. 1 qualifier a year ago at the event.
“From here on out, it’s about how deep in eliminations you can go on Sunday. We made a pretty big jump from seventh to third in the points but the competition is so tough and the field is all bunched up that anything can happen.”
The Mopar team is 49 points, less than three rounds of racing, out of first place in the standings and just four points from second.
“We need to qualify well, get some bonus points in qualifying and go rounds on Sunday. It sounds easy, but it’s not. We’ll take it one lap at a time and I have all of the confidence in the world in these guys and Dickie.
“I’ve been saying we are getting close to peaking and we really are. We just need to keep up the hard work and show what we can do on the racetrack.”