Charlotte winner Beckman qualifies second.
LAS VEGAS – Defending world champion Matt Hagan raced to the qualifying lead in Funny Car Friday at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals.
J.R. Todd (Top Fuel) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders in their categories at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is the fifth of 24 events in the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Hagan ran a 4.007-second pass at 318.02 in his Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger to improve on his category-leading 4.067-second effort from the first session.
“What impressed me is we went 318 (mph) with two holes out with 100 feet left to go,” Hagan said. “To do that on six cylinders is pretty impressive. Dickie Venables (crew chief) is making a lot of horsepower. He’s making the right calls on the race track. The car is really strong.”
Hagan, the defending Funny Car world champion, has two victories so far this year, winning the first two races at Pomona, Calif. and Phoenix, where he was the No. 1 qualifier for the latter. He was the runner-up at this event in 2009, but has not won the spring event here in his career.
Recent Four-Wide Nationals winner Jack Beckman qualified second with a 4.014 at 315.64 at the controls of his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger. Tommy Johnson Jr. is third in his Make-A-Wish Foundation Dodge Charger with a 4.020 at 313.07.
Todd in Top Fuel
In Top Fuel, Todd recorded a performance of 3.758 at 324.83 in his Red Line Oil/Kalitta Air dragster, earning him the top position in Top Fuel qualifying.
“Our run was pretty slow early on compared to some better runs we’ve had in the past,” Todd said. “It was charging from half-track on and that’s what it takes. It was pretty tight so it will be pretty interesting come race day.”
Reigning Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher qualified second by posting a 3.779 at 325.245 in his U.S. Army dragster. Schumacher has four career wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, tying for most all-time in Top Fuel with Larry Dixon.
Shawn Langdon qualified third with a 3.782 at 315.93 in his Knuckle Sandwich/AJPE dragster while Steve Torrence sits fourth with a 3.783, 323.89 in his Capco Contractors dragster. Richie Crampton is fifth with a 3.787 at 316.67 in his Lucas Oil machine.
In Pro Stock, Line took the qualifying lead with a 6.606-second run at 208.75 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro on the final pair of the day. Line was the 2014 event runner-up and already has one win this season, which came in the season-opener at Pomona.
“We felt like we could go that fast,” Line said. “After looking at the run, I’m going to say we could go a bit faster than we went. I always say that there is more left. I’m very excited about tomorrow. We have a great race car and it’s going to get better.”
Reigning Pro Stock world champion, Erica Enders-Stevens, qualified second. The 2014 event winner powered her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro to a performance of 6.617 at 208.94. Line’s teammate, Greg Anderson, qualified third by recording a 6.621 at 208.81 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro.
Jimmy Alund, from Norrkoping, Sweden, posted a track record speed of 210.93 mph during the first round of qualifying. His second session performance of 6.647 at 208.07 earned him and his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro an eighth place position in the 16-car lineup.
Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 1:10 p.m. and 4:05 p.m. Sunday’s eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m.