Matt Hagan is hoping to start Sunday on a high note the way he did in the first qualifying session on Friday at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix.

In the opening session on Friday, the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T clocked a 4.091-second pass at 309 mph. It was the best elapsed time of the session and his best run of the weekend after struggling to make a full pull in the crucial Friday night session and the two qualifying sessions on Saturday.

Matt Hagan
Matt Hagan

Photo by: Todd Steitle

"Qualifying has been very tough this weekend," said Matt. "We definitely have a better car than what we have shown this weekend. I know Dickie (Venables) is going to get in his black book tonight and we'll go figure something out and have a game plan for tomorrow."

Crew chief Venables and assistant Mike Knudsen will need a strong game plan when they line up against No. 6 qualifier and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman in the first round of Sunday's eliminations, which begin at 11 a.m. (MST).

The renovated Wild Horse Pass track was tricky for many teams and it was the warmest conditions of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

"We definitely would've liked to qualify a little stronger and have a better pairing on Sunday but it is what it is. We'll just look over everything tonight. We know that Beckman and his team will go up there and run a solid lap.

"I'm confident Dickie and Mike will get this Mopar Express Lane car tuned up for race day."

The following are Matt's qualifying results for the NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix.

DSR