Hagan Qualifies No. 1 for the NHRA Northwest Nationals

CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals
Event 16 of 24 (Seattle)
Pacific Raceways
Kent, Washington
August 3-5, 2018

DSR Seattle Qualifying Highlights:

  • Matt Hagan locks-in his 34th No. 1 qualifier; fourth of the season
  • The DSR dragster trio qualifies in the top-half of the field
  • Tommy Johnson Jr. joins Hagan with a top-half Funny Car starting position
  • Antron Brown powered to the best pass of Top Fuel Q4
  • Tony Schumacher made a ‘top three’ run in three out of four sessions
  • Ron Capps closed out qualifying by making the second-quickest pass of Q4
Hagan Qualifies No. 1 for the NHRA Northwest Nationals

KENT, Washington (August 4, 2018) – Matt Hagan maintained his position at the top of the Funny Car field on Saturday at the NHRA Northwest Nationals, standing on his 3.913-second at 324.75-mph run from Friday’s second qualifying session. The pole is the 34th of Hagan’s career and fourth of the season.

In his Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, Hagan made the second-best pass of the opening qualifying session (4.008-seconds at 320.81-mph) before powering to the best Funny Car pass of the weekend in Q2. Saturday wasn’t as kind to Hagan who posted a 6.936 in Q3, and a 4.122 in Q4, but the 2013 Pacific Raceways winner feels confident in crew chief Dickie Venables’ ability to fine-tune their combination to allow for optimal performance with their new Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat body.

“Right now, we’re having some issues with wear on the clutch. The new Hellcat body is giving us a little bit of a learning curve. It’s going to be way better; we just need to make some adjustments with the primary and things like that. The car is running great; obviously, we’re No. 1. We have some good data to work off of; we’re just going to have to figure out the clutch wear and what the car wants. We’re forty pounds lighter, the fuel tank and fire bottle have been moved to the back. It’s a little bit of a different setup than what we’re used to, so the car is asking for something a little different. But every run we make with it, we’re learning something. Once we get it figured out, it’s going to be a better combo.”

From the No. 1 position, Hagan will have lane choice over first-round opponent, Cruz Pedregon, as he attempts to secure his second Pacific Raceways Funny Car victory, and fourth victory of the year.

“Tough draw with Cruz Pedregon tomorrow. He’s a good leaver, a good driver, but there are no easy rounds out here. You have to get through them one round at a time and take it like that all day on Sunday.”

Qualified: No. 1 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 16 Cruz Pedregon

The Results: 
Q1: 4.008 E.T. at 320.81 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.913 E.T. at 324.75 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)
Q3: 6.936 E.T. at 95.15 MPH
Q4: 4.122 E.T. at 310.70 MPH


Driver Information:

Top Fuel:

ANTRON BROWN
Driver of the Matco Tools/U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster

Qualified: No. 5 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 12 Shawn Reed

The Results: 
Q1: 3.761 E.T. at 326.48 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q2: 3.763 E.T. at 330.80 MPH
Q3: 3.824 E.T. at 323.27 MPH
Q4: 3.772 E.T. at 328.94 MPH (Three bonus points for quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Four

Quotable:
“I hope this is the weekend where we turn it around. Tough competition out there, you have people like Scrapper (Mike Salinas) running a 77, Steve ‘O’ (Torrence) qualified No. 1, my teammates are out there. We’ve got our work cut out for us but it feels really good to have four good qualifying laps and we’ll see what we can do on Sunday.”


LEAH PRITCHETT

Driver of the Sparkling Ice Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 6 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 11 Troy Buff

The Results:
Q1: 8.044 E.T. at 87.50 MPH
Q2: 3.764 E.T. at 321.73 MPH
Q3: 3.910 E.T. at 318.39 MPH
Q4: 3.856 E.T. at 322.34 MPH

Quotable:
“We have found our weak link, so to speak from a power standpoint, we need to add more of that Mopar-power to it. We are experimenting with our blowers. We hurt our best one in Sonoma at our last race, so we’re kind of in new territory, and figuring out how much steam we can put to that blower in order to get back to where we consider par. We’ve been a little bit above par, even today in qualifying on one side of the window, and I feel like we are right there, right at the window. Come Sunday, we know where we need to be. Strong runs, they were healthy runs. We just didn’t have enough steam early out of the gate. We isolated it down to that. If there’s any team that has a handle on making power, it’s this one and I’m excited for tomorrow. We’re coming from the sixth spot, that 3.76 held on strong and we hope to finish out this swing strong.

“I’d like to say it’ll be redemption from last week, it’s not 100 percent out of my mind. Sunday is a whole new race day no matter what.”


TONY SCHUMACHER

Driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 4 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 13 Terry McMillen

The Results:
Q1: 3.804 E.T. at 325.45 MPH
Q2: 3.751 E.T. at 327.03 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)
Q3: 3.807 E.T. at 325.30 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the day)
Q4: 3.802 E.T. at 327.11 MPH (One bonus point for third quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Four

Quotable:
“We made two great runs today. There were big changes made coming here to give (crew chief) Mike (Neff) and (assistant crew chief) Phil (Shuler) adjustability in an area where they needed it, and it did exactly what they wanted. All four runs were right down the race track. Everything was smooth. This U.S. Army team is working their tails off and when you can get bonus points on Saturday, that’s usually a pretty good sign for Sunday. I said yesterday we just needed it all to come together. We are getting closer to where we want to be. The real test is tomorrow. We have studied for the test. Now we just have to go out and do our jobs at a track where in the past we have performed really well. This is right where we want to be. I’m excited for tomorrow.”


Funny Car:

JACK BECKMAN
Driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 11

The Competition: No. 6 Shawn Langdon

The Results:
Q1: 7.849 E.T. at 89.13 MPH
Q2: 7.192 E.T. at 97.47 MPH
Q3: 4.083 E.T. at 309.34 MPH
Q4: 4.028 E.T. at 317.79 MPH

Quotable:
“I’m not going to say we squandered Friday. We made some big changes in the clutch after what happened to us in Sonoma, and they just didn’t pan out. Today we went back to our tried and true combination but with no data up here, so in essence we only had half the runs everyone else had. We made a soft run to get it down the track and get in the show and then (in Q4) we stepped on it and it shows with a good representative E.T. I think we have a phenomenal race day car again, and kudos to (crew chiefs) John Medlen, Guido (Dean Antonelli) and Neal (Strausbaugh) for putting their heads together and coming up with another great idea.”


RON CAPPS

Driver of the Pennzoil Synthetics/NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 9

The Competition: No. 8 Jonnie Lindberg

The Results: 
Q1: 8.608 E.T. at 83.47 MPH
Q2: 4.018 E.T. at 318.47 MPH
Q3: 4.031 E.T. at 319.22 MPH
Q4: 4.008 E.T. at 315.42 MPH (Two bonus points for second quickest run of the session)

Bonus Points: Two

Quotable:
“Well ninth is not where we wanted to qualify, especially this weekend with having Pennzoil Synthetics on the car, but (crew chief) Rahn Tobler and our NAPA team, they’re all about Sunday – race day – winning races. We’ll unload, show up. We don’t have lane choice but we’ll get after it and do what we normally do.”


TOMMY JOHNSON JR.
Driver of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger R/T 
Qualified: No. 7 (lane choice)

The Competition: No. 10 John Force

The Results:
Q1: 4.027 E.T. at 318.92 MPH
Q2: 3.977 E.T. at 321.35 MPH
Q3: 4.214 E.T. at 233.24 MPH
Q4: 4.284 E.T. at 225.07 MPH

Quotable:
“We ran good on Friday but struggled on Saturday, so we’re going to have to figure out the hot weather tune-up because it’s going to be hot again tomorrow. The guys will look at all of the data tonight, learn from what we didn’t do today, and hopefully we’ll do it tomorrow.”

DSR PR/Photo Credit NHRA Media

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