BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 21, 2016) – Matt Hagan’s first and last runs in the Rocky Boots/Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car at Brainerd International Raceway are two he’d like to forget.
But the six runs between will be used for important data and fond memories in the bank for Hagan, crew chief Dickie Venables, assistant Michael Knudsen and the Rocky Boots team.
The best and most memorable run will be the 3.822 world record run at a track speed record 333.47 that placed them No. 1 for Sunday’s championship eliminations in northern Minnesota. But crew chief Venables again came out swinging on race day and posted three consecutive 3.8-second runs before slowing in the final where opponent Del Worsham went on to win.
"We had a great weekend here at BIR," said Hagan of his runner-up finish. "We qualified No. 1 and set a national record. The car was on a string pretty much all day long, we just came up a little short in the final. All in all, it was a good points day for us, and I'm sure we helped ourselves a little bit there.
It was the fourth final round appearance of the season for Hagan and the Rocky Boots team that has won two event titles.
Hagan pulled within 31 points of Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman for fourth in Funny Car points standings.
The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to the regular season finale at the U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis over Labor Day Weekend where each round win is worth 30 points instead of the standard 20.
Venables and the seven other DSR teams will spend this week testing at Lucas Oil Raceway near headquarters.
“I'm looking forward to the Indy test and trying some things there to get ready for that big race,” Hagan said. “I've never won Indy, and it would be great to check that one off the list. I think the karma with this team is coming back around. You feel like you have to wait your turn sometimes to win, and I think our turn is coming right around. We're right where we need to be."
Funny Car (Unofficial)
1. Ron Capps (1413)
2. Courtney Force (1198)
3. Del Worsham (1192)
4. Jack Beckman (1146)
5. Matt Hagan (1115)
6. Robert Hight (1040)
7. John Force (1003)
8. Tommy Johnson Jr. (999)
9. Tim Wilkerson (915)
10. Alexis DeJoria (765)