Hagan Drives ‘Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar’ to 4-Wide NHRA National Win
· Don Schumacher Racing’s Hagan takes ‘Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar’ to winner’s circle at Four-Wide Nationals
· Win by Hagan extends Mopar’s win streak to six titles in five NHRA events in 2013
· Hagan back on track with first win since his 2011 NHRA Funny Car Championship season
· Hagan takes the Funny Car Championship points lead by 50 points
· Mopar Express Lane driver Johnson drops to second place in Pro Stock points standings after red light in round two quad elimination
Concord, N.C. (Sunday, April 21) – Matt Hagan drove his ‘Magneti Marelli Quality Autoparts Offered by Mopar’ Dodge Charger R/T straight to victory lane at the fourth annual Dollar General NHRA Four-Wide Nationals for his first title win of the season and his sixth career Funny Car victory with Don Schumacher Racing.
“This was a big win for us,” Hagan said of his first title since the 2011 season finale to earn the NHRA Funny Car World Championship for Mopar. “It’s been a year since we won, or longer. It’s been too long, and that feeling is just great to have back. Obviously we don’t want this to go away.”
“Congratulations to Matt Hagan from all of us at Mopar on his win today at the Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Matt has had a strong start to the season and it’s great to see the ‘Magneti Marelli Quality Auto Parts Offered by Mopar’ branded Dodge Charger in the winner’s circle. We look forward to watching Matt, as well as his Don Schumacher Racing teammates contend for wins in defense of the Funny Car Championship title for a third consecutive year.”
Hagan had three consecutive 4.0-second passes during Sunday’s unique four-wide eliminations on his way to earning the “Wally”. He emerged the winner in the first round with an elapsed time run of 4.057 seconds (314.09 mph) and moved on to the next quad match up along with Mopar teammate Jack Beckman who had qualified third. They did so by defeating their other DSR teammate Ron Capps and Dale Creasy.
In the next round, Hagan was once again quickest with an e.t. of 4.075 seconds (313.29 mph) while Beckman hazed the tires and did not advance to the championship round.
For the four-wide final, the ‘Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar’ machine served up a 4.071 seconds (315.34 mph) run to beat Blake Alexander, while Tim Wilkerson and No.1 qualifier Chad Head both lost traction early in their runs. With the win, Hagan jumps from fourth place into the lead in the category by 50 points, marking the first time he has led the standings since winning the 2011 Championship.
The event’s purposely built four lane zMAX Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway, provided a bit more of a challenge to Mopar’s Pro Stock contingency. All four HEMI-powered Dodge entries had their elimination rounds end in disappointment as none made it past the second quad.
The first to fall was No.2 qualifier Jeg Coughlin Jr. who had great 0.005-second reaction time to take the lead off the start in the JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger until it suddenly got loose and he lost his chance to advance. Teammate Vincent Nobile had a similar fate after also coming out the gate first, but was beaten to the line by both Mike Edwards and fellow Mopar driver V. Gaines.
Coming off wins at the previous two National events, Allen Johnson drove his Mopar Express Lane Dodge to the finish in second place to make it through the first round.
Johnson and Gaines second round quad eliminations appearance didn’t go quite as planned as both saw their red lights come on, disqualifying their run at making the final four.
“It’s disappointing not to make it to the final and it hasn’t been our best weekend but the four wide is fun for the fans and mixes things up a bit,” said Johnson. “It’s kind of unusual for me to foul out and for both me and V. (Gaines) to both do it at the same time is really odd. It’s just not something we normally do. The good news is the Mopar Express Lane Dodge isn’t too far back in the points in second spot.”
The Pro Stock Four-Wide National title was won by Mike Edwards who takes over the points lead. Runner-up finisher Erica Enders-Stevens slips into third sport behind Johnson. The final-four semi-finalists were Shane Gray and Greg Anderson.