Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane team led by crew chief Dickie Venables wasted little time reminding the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series community that his 2017 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car powered by Pennzoil is the quickest hot rod in the field.
Early evening rain Friday wiped out the second qualifying session to open the 2017 season but Hagan and Don Schumacher Racing’s Mopar-powered by Pennzoil team was the quickest in the early afternoon session with a time of 3.840 seconds at 330.15 mph to hold the provisional pole heading into Saturday’s final two qualifying sessions before the eliminations rounds the following day that will air live on the Fox broadcast network.
“It’s been a long winter,” Hagan said. “I’ve been chomping at the bit to put a mouth piece in and put a helmet on. I’ve had a lot of frustration and I was ready to take it out on the racetrack.
“It’s really nice to come out here and roll out of the box and run an .84. It was one of those runs where you knew you had to get it in (because of pending rain) so it’s a pressure filled situation. It needs to get it down the racetrack because you need to get qualified and you have the rain coming in.”
A year ago, Hagan set national records for elapsed time (3.822), speed (335.57 mph) and won a career-best five No. 1 qualifying positions.
In Top Fuel, eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher with crew chief Mike Green and the U.S. Army team led DSR with the third-best run of the day at 3.729 (325.06) with three-time world champion Antron Brown and the Matco Tools dragster, winners of the past two championships, is ranked fifth with a time of 3.732.
SOURCE: Don Schumacher Racing ? PHOTO: Brian Groce