Hagan takes first victory of 2016 in Atlanta
Matt Hagan scored his first win of the season as Doug Kalitta conquered Top Fuel and Jason Line and Eddie Krawiec won Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle classes at the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Two-time Funny Car champion Hagan sprinted to his first victory of 2016 with a 3.965 at 314.90 in his Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T, beating Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman in the final. Hagan ended a 19-race winless streak with his 19th career victory. Hagan outlasted Chad Head, reigning world champ Del Worsham and points leader Courtney Force in the earlier rounds to win his first NHRA Southern Nationals title.
“We’ve been trying to dig our way out of a hole we dug for ourselves in the beginning of the season with a new chassis and some new parts and different things like that,” said Hagan, who currently sits ninth in the points standings. “We went back to what we know and pulled our old car back out. We won a championship with it. We all knew it was just a matter of time before we figured it out. We’re really happy to get that monkey off our back.”
By finishing second, Beckman moved to second in the points standings. Tim Wilkerson, who entered Atlanta tied with Courtney Force for first in the Funny Car points standings, is now third, while Capps is fourth and Robert Hight is fifth.
Kalitta powered his Mac Tools dragster to a 3.801-second pass at 323.19 mph to defeat Kalitta Motorsports teammate J.R. Todd’s 3.780 at 320.66 in his SealMaster dragster on a holeshot in the final round.
It marked Kalitta’s second consecutive win of 2016, his 40th career victory and his third at Atlanta Dragway. The margin of victory between Kalitta and Todd was .0000, making it the closest Top Fuel race in NHRA history. It was the first time since 2006 that two Kalitta Motorsports Top Fuel cars decided a final. Kalitta sprinted past Terry Haddock, eight-time world champ Tony Schumacher and reigning world champ Antron Brown in the earlier rounds.
“I really didn’t think I had won,” said Kalitta, who is now the Top Fuel points leader. “The last couple of rounds I didn’t see the win light on the wall. J.R. went blowing by me at the end there and I got around the corner and I was very relieved, to say the least. Jim (Oberhofer, crew chief) and my Mac Tools guys have been busting their butts all day long and we were hungry to do well in front of a sellout crowd here in Atlanta.”
In Pro Stock, Jason Line drove his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to a 6.611 at 209.75 in the final round to better teammate Greg Anderson on a holeshot. This is Line’s fourth victory of 2016 and 41st in his career. Line has advanced to the final round in all seven races this season. This is Line’s second consecutive win at this event and third overall.
“We kind of whined and complained about the [carburetor-to-fuel-injection] rules change, but I never would’ve thought that this would be the result of that,” said Line, who has lost only to Anderson this year. “It’s a great day anytime you can win in front of your sponsor. This is a very tricky racetrack. I haven’t been on an Atlanta track like this ever. We struggled hard with it, but again, I’m a little bit in awe that I’ve been able to race in all the final rounds this year.”
Anderson raced past V. Gaines in the first round, then had a second round bye before beating Kenny Delco in the third round to meet Line in the final. Anderson is second in the points standings.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.824sec run at 196.66mph to outlast Jerry Savoie’s 6.851 at 195.79 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final. This is Krawiec’s second victory of 2016, 33rd of his career and fourth at Atlanta Dragway. He has raced in all three Pro Stock Motorcycle event finals this season and has control of the Pro Stock Motorcycle points lead.
“Atlanta has treated me well,” said Krawiec, a three-time champ. “I got my first win here [in 2009] and it’s one of those things where if you just feel comfortable and you’re in a groove, you’ll have confidence. For me, I think all of that has fallen into place. The track was a little tricky for us but we were able to figure out our chassis set up and as we made more laps throughout the weekend it got better and better. It was definitely a good, exciting, fun weekend for me.”
Krawiec’s teammate and reigning world champ Andrew Hines is second in points and Hector Arana is third.
Final finish order at the 36th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. (NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ Round 7 of 24)
TOP FUEL: 1. Doug Kalitta; 2. J.R. Todd; 3. Shawn Langdon; 4. Antron Brown; 5. Steve Torrence; 6. Brittany Force; 7. Tony Schumacher; 8. Richie Crampton; 9. Clay Millican; 10. Pat Dakin; 11. Kyle Wurtzel; 12. Leah Pritchett; 13. Scott Palmer; 14. Terry McMillen; 15. Chris Karamesines; 16. Terry Haddock.
Final: Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.965, 314.90 def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 8.073, 79.59.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Matt Hagan; 2. Jack Beckman; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 4. Courtney Force; 5. Alexis DeJoria; 6. Del Worsham; 7. Ron Capps; 8. Robert Hight; 9. Tim Wilkerson; 10. Chad Head; 11. Dave Richards; 12. John Hale; 13. Cruz Pedregon; 14. John Force; 15. Jeff Diehl; 16. Jim Campbell.
Final: Doug Kalitta, 3.801 seconds, 323.19 mph def. J.R. Todd, 3.780 seconds, 320.66 mph
PRO STOCK: 1. Jason Line; 2. Greg Anderson; 3. Allen Johnson; 4. Kenny Delco; 5. Jeg Coughlin; 6. Alex Laughlin; 7. Chris McGaha; 8. Vincent Nobile; 9. Erica Enders; 10. V. Gaines; 11. Bo Butner; 12. Drew Skillman; 13. John Gaydosh Jr; 14. Shane Gray.
Final: Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.611, 209.75 def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.593, 210.50
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Eddie Krawiec; 2. Jerry Savoie; 3. Angelle Sampey; 4. Karen Stoffer; 5. Chip Ellis; 6. Hector Arana; 7. Melissa Surber; 8. Scotty Pollacheck; 9. LE Tonglet; 10. Matt Smith; 11. Michael Phillips; 12. Andrew Hines; 13. Steve Johnson; 14. Hector Arana Jr; 15. Cory Reed; 16. Shawn Gann.
Final: Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.824, 196.56 def. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.851, 195.79
Point standings after 7 of 24 events
Top Fuel 1. Doug Kalitta, 506; 2. Brittany Force, 498; 3. Antron Brown, 482; 4. Steve Torrence, 454; 5. Clay Millican, 387; 6. J.R. Todd, 358; 7. Tony Schumacher, 329; 8. Richie Crampton, 317; 9. Leah Pritchett, 308; 10. Terry McMillen, 293.
Funny Car 1. Courtney Force, 522; 2. Jack Beckman, 482; 3. Tim Wilkerson, 476; 4. Ron Capps, 471; 5. Robert Hight, 458; 6. Del Worsham, 429; 7. John Force, 416; 8. Alexis DeJoria, 394; 9. Matt Hagan, 390; 10. Tommy Johnson Jr., 351.
Pro Stock 1. Jason Line, 812; 2. Greg Anderson, 716; 3. Bo Butner, 553; 4. Drew Skillman, 432; 5. Chris McGaha, 393; 6. Allen Johnson, 392; 7. Jeg Coughlin, 308; 8. Vincent Nobile, 294; 9. Erica Enders, 289; 10. Alex Laughlin, 272.
Pro Stock Motorcycle 1. Eddie Krawiec, 353; 2. Andrew Hines, 233; 3. Hector Arana, 207; 4. Jerry Savoie, 204; 5. Chip Ellis, 193; 6. Angelle Sampey, 179; 7. LE Tonglet, 143; 8. Matt Smith, 124; 9. Karen Stoffer, 118; 10. Scotty Pollacheck, 117.
Beckman, Kalitta, Anderson And Sampey sprint to No. 1 qualifiers at NHRA Southern Nationals
Kalitta, Hagan, Line and Krawiec race to victory at NHRA Southern Nationals