Hagan Leads Mopar After First Day of Qualifying at Dodge NHRA Nationals

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship continues this weekend with the 33rd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading. After the first day of qualifying, Matt Hagan and the Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) sit in the second position to lead the Mopar HEMI®-powered contingent.

Hagan turned in a 3.874-second pass at 335.82 mph during the second qualifying session to claim the provisional No. 2 spot. His DSR teammate Ron Capps currently sits No. 3 in his Dodge Charger R/T, while Jack Beckman is fourth in the Infinite Hero Dodge from DSR. Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Make-A-Wish team rounded out the DSR Mopar Funny Car squads with a 10th-place effort through two sessions.
The Mopar Top Fuel teams from the DSR shop are fifth and sixth, with Leah Pritchett claiming the No. 5 position in a special Mopar 80th Anniversary dragster she is campaigning throughout the weekend at Maple Grove. Tony Schumacher sits sixth in the U.S. Army car.
Pritchett Defeats Hagan in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Match Race
On Friday afternoon, Pritchett and Hagan also took part in the first of two head-to-head match races slated for the weekend in 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demons. Pritchett got off the line first and continued to lead her Mopar teammate at the finish. The two also squared off in the street-legal beasts during the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals earlier this season at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, where Pritchett defeated Hagan twice. The next matchup between the two drivers is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Maple Grove Raceway between the third and fourth Pro qualifying sessions.  

Second Annual Mopar Mega Block Party
Crowds filled FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading on Thursday night to kick off the Dodge NHRA Nationals with the second annual Mopar Mega Block Party. The evening featured the unveiling of Pritchett’s Mopar 80th Anniversary Top Fuel dragster, a home run derby where NHRA on FOX play-by-play announcer Dave Rieff bested Mopar drivers, staff and other NHRA personalities to raise money for the Infinite Hero and Make-A-Wish Foundations, and special recognition for retiring Mopar Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson. Johnson is making his 500th start this weekend and was honored with a video tribute and unique helmet celebrating special moments in his career. Greg Anderson is the only active Pro Stock driver with more starts than Johnson. Autograph sessions, live bands, an all-Mopar car show featuring close to 100 vehicles and an enormous fireworks display were also part of the festivities.
Mopar/Dodge Notes & Quotes

Matt Hagan, Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
“We got some bonus points (three) and it was a good opening day for our Mopar Express Lane Dodge. We have a lot of great information to with those two good runs like that. It’s just what we needed to do. It will be hot again tomorrow for everybody and we run a little earlier. I hope we can at least stay where we are (second). We just want to keep working at it. It’s a big weekend for us with Dodge and Mopar.”

Leah Pritchett, Mopar 80th Anniversary Top Fuel Dragster  
“This competition is extremely fierce. We feel good about tomorrow, we’re going to push again and couldn’t be more excited to run the Mopar 80th Anniversary Top Fuel dragster at the Dodge NHRA Nationals, and get another win in the Demon against my teammate Matt Hagan. I think it’s super cool, this is the only place in the world that people are able to see two Demons run side by side. For Matt and I to be able to do that is something very special.”

Tune-in Info
The 33rd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals continue on Saturday, September 23, with FOX Sports 1 slated to broadcast the final two qualifying sessions Sunday, September 24, at 1:30 a.m. ET.
Mopar Motorsports PR
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