Mopar Doubles up on Wins at Route 66 NHRA Nationals with Hagan and Coughlin
· Mopar doubles up by earning both Funny Car and Pro Stock title wins at 16th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals
· Hagan posts third title win in his sixth final round appearance of the year to extend his lead in Funny Car Championship standings with six races left in regular season.
· Coughlin earns his fifth career Pro Stock win at Route 66 Raceway and his second of the season
· Just two points separate Coughlin and Johnson in second and third spot in the Pro Stock standings as they chase down the leader
Joliet, Ill. (Sunday, June 30, 2013) – Mopar drivers Matt Hagan and Jeg Coughlin Jr took top honours at the 16th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals “doubling-up” at the Chicagoland area track with title wins in both Funny Car and Pro Stock classes for a third time in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series season. Hagan extended his lead in the Funny Car championship standings by posting his third victory of the season in the “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Charger R/T in his sixth final round appearance for Don Schumacher Racing. For his part, Coughlin earned his second win the year aboard the Jegs.com Mopar Dodge Avenger by taking his fifth career “Wally” trophy at Route 66 Raceway to jump into second place in the Pro Stock standings.
“It was great to have Matt Hagan and Jeg Coughlin Jr. add two more wins in their Dodge vehicles today with their efforts at the Route 66 Nationals and everyone at Mopar is very proud of the strong first half of the season we’ve had,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “Earning wins in both Pro Stock and Funny Car classes at the same event for the third time this year, is a great way to showcase all the hard work that Mopar HEMI-powered teams and drivers are putting in to defend both world titles this season.”
Drivers to previously double-up on National wins in both categories this year for Mopar were Johnny Gray and Allen Johnson at the GatorNationals, and then Gray again with Coughlin at the Kansas Nationals.
Hagan earned his Route 66 title win by defeating two of his Don Schumacher Racing teammates; After turning the win lights on in his first round match-up his against Gray, Hagan went on to run an incredible side-by-side, Mopar versus Mopar, showdown against defending world champion Jack Beckman, emerging the victor on a holeshot. His final round victory against John Force was earned by posting his best elapsed time of eliminations with a 4.605-second pass at 315.34 mph, to his competitor’s 4.113-seconds (304.80 mph) attempt.
“I don’t think you could put together a tougher line-up,” said Hagan in reference to having to battle two teammates, and veterans Bob Tasca III and Force to earn his eighth career victory. “We’re doing good things right now and we want to keep it up, but I want to stay humble. This is such a humbling sport. Things can change fast, so we’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
With six races left in the regular season, Hagan leads the championship over Cruz Pedregon and Force while his DSR teammates Gray, Ron Capps and Beckman are all right there in the closely contested battle in the top six spots.
In Pro Stock action, Coughlin took home his fifth win from the Route 66 venue for his second win of the 2013 season, bringing his victories total to 54 titles. He won this one in a final elimination match against opponent Greg Anderson after having to face his Mopar teammate Allen Johnson, winner of the previous event at the New England Nationals, in the semifinals.
“When I let out the clutch, the car didn’t feel the best that it had all day, and by the time I got into second and third gear I was just cracking the whip on the thing as hard as I could,” said Coughlin, who moved into second place in the standings just two points ahead of Johnson with the win and closing the gap on the leader Mike Edwards. “You look at the guys we had to race and there were certainly no easy rounds. To see that win light come on in my lane and to have such a huge win here feels amazing. I feel very fortunate to be standing here clutching this Wally (trophy).”
The next stop for Mopar teams and drivers is the fourth NHRA event in as many weeks taking place at this upcoming weekend at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, marking the halfway point of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series with the 7th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals on July 4-7.