|NHRA New England Nationals
Event 13 of 24 (Epping)
New England Dragway
Epping, New Hampshire
July 6-8, 2018
DSR Epping Friday Qualifying Highlights:
- DSR dominates qualifying, claiming the provisional No. 1 and 2 spots in Top Fuel and Funny Car
- All DSR Dodge floppers qualify in the quick-half of the Funny Car field
- Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman earn Funny Car bonus points
- Leah Pritchett and Tony Schumacher make bonus point-worthy Q2 runs
- Schumacher runs top speed of the day (330.31-mph)
- Ahead of the race weekend, it was announced that Don Schumacher will be inducted into the Class of 2019 Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
DSR Dominates Qualifying at the NHRA New England Nationals
Leah Pritchett and Matt Hagan Race to the Provisional No. 1 Spots
Epping, N.H. (July 6, 2018) – Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) and Matt Hagan (Funny Car) lead qualifying at the NHRA New England Nationals, sitting in the provisional No. 1 spot in their respective categories.
Pritchett, the 2017 New England Dragway No. 1 qualifier, raced her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster to the top spot under the lights on Friday evening with a 3.742-second at 324.51-mph Q2 pass. The six-time Top Fuel winner will look to start Sunday from the top seed for the second year in a row as she aims for her ninth career No. 1 qualifier.
“The success we feel as a team right now is something we’ve been looking forward to. It’s justification,” said the New England Dragway E.T. record holder (3.673-seconds, 2017).
“I speak on behalf of the entire Mopar team when I say finally, the race car and data is reacting, and I on the track reacted as anyone would in Q2, which is the most important one. (My car) was sucking to the inside, it was starting to spin at the top end and I stuck with it as long as possible. We were a little bit shy footage-wise to the finish line. That could’ve been a couple thou quicker, but we’ll take it. Of course, there’s more qualifying tomorrow, but it feels good. There’s something to that ‘more power, more parts.’
“We’re taking it one qualifying round at a time. Tomorrow is going to be important for Sunday; today was about position, which is how from a strategy standpoint you have to race. You throw all the nuts and bolts on it for your Q2 run, and (Saturday) is practice for race day.”
Hagan powered to the Funny Car lead during Friday’s second qualifying session with a 3.932-second at 322.04-mph pass.
Prior to rocketing to the best Funny Car run of the day, crew chief Dickie Venables tuned Hagan to the second quickest run of the opening session, allowing Hagan to bank five bonus points over the course of Friday.
“It all starts off with going down the race track Q1, setting yourself up for a good lap there (so you can start) from the back of the pack in that second run,” said the Sandvik Coromant Dodge pilot, who entered the race weekend as the defending event champion and fresh off a win from the previous race in Norwalk, Ohio.
“Coming off that race win in Ohio we were able to bring some of that confidence over here and we’re getting a good feel for the car. My confidence is up; I’ve been killing the tree. We’re just building on it.
“(Q2) was a good run, something to work off of. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, things could move around still. These things are very humbling, you take it in perspective and appreciate it for what it is today but it could change tomorrow. As good as our car is running right now, I think there are only more good things to come in the future.”
Driver of the Mopar Dodge Top Fuel Dragster
Q1: 4.194 E.T. at 203.52 MPH
Q2: 3.742 E.T. at 324.51 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 1
Bonus Points: Three
Driver of the Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger R/T
Q1: 4.012 E.T. at 304.67 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.932 E.T. at 322.04 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Provisional Qualifying Position: No. 1
Bonus Points: Five