Hagan, Johnson pace Mopars in Qualifying at the FallNationals
· Mopar competing at the 28th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, the second of six playoff races in the “Countdown to the Championship”
· Johnson, defending winner at Texas Motorplex, is top Pro Stock Mopar qualifier with a fourth place run
· Hagan, runner-up finisher in Charlotte, leads the Funny Car standings and Mopar contingent with third place qualifying effort and top speed of the weekend
· Coughlin, last week’s winner, and second in Pro Stock points, is tenth in qualifying
Ennis, Texas (Saturday, September 21, 2013) – After Friday qualifying was cancelled at Texas Motorplex due to persistent rain showers, Mopar drivers refocused their efforts on Saturday with just two sessions available to set the eliminations ladder for the 28th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, the second of six playoff events in the NHRA “Countdown to the Championship”.
The defending Pro Stock world champ, Allen Johnson, is also the defending winner at the FallNationals where he holds the Pro Stock records for both elapsed time (6.550 seconds) and speed (211.99 mph). In his first qualifying run, Johnson’s Mopar Express Lane Dodge set the fourth quickest run with elapsed time run of 6.564 seconds (211.23 mph) after drifting out of the groove and approaching the centerline near the top end. He did not improve his time in the second session but was the third quickest and earned a bonus point for his efforts. He’ll face Greg Stanfield in the first round of eliminations on Sunday and will hope to help continue Mopar’s streak of nine consecutive final round appearances.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. is looking to repeat his performance from last week when he took the JEGS.com Mopar to the victory circle to get the playoffs started on a winning note which put him second in the championship points standings. After a best run of 6.583 seconds (210.05 mph), Coughlin will start from the second half of the ladder in tenth spot and will see Greg Anderson as his first round match-up.
HEMI-powered Dodges of Vincent Nobile (6.582 / 210.47) and V. Gaines (6.582 / 210.31) were eighth and ninth respectively, and will face each other in first round action. The No.1 qualifying position was taken by Erica Enders-Stevens.
In Funny Car qualifying, Matt Hagan paced his Don Schumacher Racing teammates in his “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar”/ Freightliner machine and found himself in third spot with the second quickest pass in the final session. He did by setting the top speed (312.78 mph) of the weekend and an e.t. of 4.093 seconds to earn two bonus points. Hagan, who has four wins and earned his fourth runner-up finish of the year last week to maintain his lead in the championship points race, will line up his Dodge Charger R/T next to adversary Jeff Arend for a first round battle.
Ron Capps, who is chasing Hagan in the standings from his second place seat, also sits just behind his Mopar teammate in the fourth qualifying spot. He earned it with a pass of 4.096 seconds (306.88 mph) on his final run which gave him a single bonus point for the third quickest time of the session. He’ll face Tony Pedregon as his first round opponent.
Fast Jack Beckman, defending Funny Car World Champ, will start his Mopar from the sixth place position on the eliminations ladder with his 4.122-second (306.12 mph) pass and will be paired up with Alexis DeJoria. Johnny Gray rounds out the top half of the ladder in eighth spot with a 4.154 sec (304.39 mph) run in his Dodge Charger R/T to maintain lane choice over Tim Wilkerson. The pole position was won by Robert Hight.