Driver of the Pennzoil Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
Qualified: No. 6 (3.959 E.T. at 325.45 MPH)
E1: 3.953 E.T. at 325.14 MPH defeated Cruz Pedregon 4.671 E.T. at 184.02 MPH, Jonnie Lindberg 4.786 E.T. at 181.25 MPH
E2: 3.997 E.T. at 316.30 MPH defeated Tim Wilkerson 4.062 E.T. at 290.07 MPH, Jack Beckman 7.194 E.T. at 99.31 MPH
E3: 5.252 E.T. at 172.89 MPH defeated by Shawn Langdon 4.125 E.T. at 305.08 MPH, Robert Hight 4.159 E.T. at 242.89 MPH
Starting from the No. 6 position, Pennzoil Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Matt Hagan finished second out of four drivers in the opening round to advance deeper in eliminations on the strength of a 3.953 second E.T., his quickest pass of the weekend. In the next quad pairing, Hagan posted the quickest pass and continued onto the finals.
Hagan, the 2013 winner at Charlotte, matched up with Force, Robert Hight and Shawn Langdon in the final foursome of the day. Chasing his second win of the season, the two-time Funny Car world champion smoked the tires early and was forced to settle for a semifinals finish, with Langdon taking the event win. Hagan remains second in the Funny Car point standings.
“We were just pushing a little bit too hard up there, really trying to run a number. You can Monday morning quarterback it all day long – it didn’t take that big a number to make it happen, I think a 4.12 won it – but everybody went up there with that same mentality to push hard, and that’s why everybody smoked the tires.
“The thing about it is, we’ve got a great race car. We’re going into Atlanta, we’re coming off of two finals right now, and I just really feel like this team is clicking and working really well. The parts and pieces are working and the guys are putting the car together great. For Sandvik/Mopar/Pennzoil, it’s going to happen soon. Just keep doing what we’re doing. The car is responding to the decisions (crew chief) Dickie Venables is making good or bad. If it’s working, don’t change it.”