Crew chief Venables returns to Las Vegas with proven combination for Hagan, Mopar Express Lane team
Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots team are going back to what they know for the 15th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.
After starting the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season with a runner-up finish, the Mopar team led by crew chief Dickie Venables has suffered opening-round losses in NHRA eliminations near Phoenix and Gainesville, Fla.
"We're working on it and we'll continue to test new things but it might be time to go back to what we know and what is proven for race day," he said. "It's early in the season and we'll get our combination figured out."
The Mopar team earned five event titles (Charlotte 1, Englishtown, Chicago, Seattle, Pomona) last season with the car and combination they will take to Las Vegas.
"We're coming out with our old car and our old combination from last year," said Matt. "We won five races with it and I think that we can do well. We have a lot of data to go off of and Dickie and (assistant crew chief) Mike Knudsen feel very positive and strong about it. I'm excited to crawl back in our old race car and get that old feeling back and go have some fun in Vegas."
Qualifying at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway begins on Friday at 2 p.m. (PT).
"They will pull it together and we will run well," Matt said. "I'm sure there will be a learning period again but I'm confident in their decision. I'm coming in with a big smile and a positive attitude and I'm hopeful that we can get this turned around and start turning on some more win lights.
"Vegas is a crazy town and a crazy race and I'm excited to get out there and see all the fans."