Hagan and Capps Power their DSR Mopars to Final Quad at NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
• Matt Hagan and Ron Capps advanced their DSR Mopars to the final elimination foursome at the 7th annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
•Capps moves his DSR Dodge Charger R/T into second place in the Funny Car points standings
•Erica Enders takes Mopar Performance Dodge Dart to the semifinal round at zMAX Dragway
Concord, North Carolina (April 24, 2016) – Two Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopars raced their way into the final foursome at the 7th annual National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods at the uniquely built four-lane zMAX Dragway near Charlotte, N.C., but while they fell just short of their goal to come away with the coveted prize, both came away with a few intangibles.
Two-time NHRA Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan, whose Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T team found the first four race events of the season rather challenging, was bolstered by kicking off this weekend of four-wide racing with a drive to the provisional pole on Friday and a record time and speed of 3.941 seconds at 323.50 miles per hour.
Seeded No.2 for eliminations, Hagan continued to progress with a pair of strong runs in the first two quads with a 3.938/320.13 and a 3.997/317.64 lap to advance to the final foursome to face his DSR teammate Ron Capps, Cruz Pedregon and Tim Wilkerson.
While Hagan had a the same .064-second reaction time as the eventual title winner Wilkerson, his ride didn’t make as clean a run as he had hoped with a 4.069/305.56. However, the hope is that all the progress they’ve made this weekend, along with some testing they will do on Monday at zMAx Dragway, will pay dividends as soon as next weekend’s NHRA SpringNationals event near Houston.
The good news for Capps, who had started the season by taking his DSR Dodge Charger R/T to a win, a runner-up finish and a No.1 qualifier position before missing out on race day action in Las Vegas with a DNQ (Did Not Qualify), is that his semifinal performance propelled him back up in the Funny Car standings to second place and just eight markers behind points leader Robert Hight.
Tommy Johnson Jr. recovered from a loss of traction early in his first run by out-peddling two others, including his DSR stablemate Jack Beckman to advance, along with John Force, to the next elimination round against both Hagan and Capps. Once again, tire smoke at the hit hampered his progress and forced the driver of the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T to ease off the throttle and call it a day.
Driver of the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T, Jack Beckman, who was seeded sixth after earning three of Mopar’s four No.1 qualifier honors to start the year, didn’t make it out of his opening round quad after losing traction off the start against John Force, Bob Tasca and teammate Johnson.
Elite Motorsports Pro Stock driver Erica Enders kept Mopar hopes of a drive to the winner’s circle alive from her tenth seeded spot with a .027-second reaction time and 6.630/209.98 run against Drew Skillman, Alex Laughlin and John Gaydosh to advance with Skillman to a semifinal quad showdown with Jason Line and Kenny Delco. Enders was first out of the gate again in the semifinal round with a 0.024-second reaction time before unexpected tire shake ruined her chances.
Coughlin, for his part, was looking to make his own gains with “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Jegs.com Dodge Dart after qualifying 12th but was just a little too anxious to do so against Bo Butner, Deric Kramer, and Shane Gray in the first round, with a .006 red light start and end to his day.
Deric Kramer and his Dodge Dart battled through the first round, only to foul out of the second before the starting line tree had been activated causing some confusion for McGaha, Butner, and Anderson, while V. Gaines and his HEMI-powered Western Motorsports Kendall Dodge Dart faltered in the first round.
2016 NHRA Championship Points Standings (Following the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Race Final)
PRO STOCK (season wins in parentheses) 1. Jason Line – 583 (3)
2.Greg Anderson – 481 (2)
3.Bo Butner – 429
4.Drew Skillman – 343
5.Chris McGaha – 287
6. Allen Johnson – Dodge Dart – 244
7t. Jeg Coughlin Jr. – Dodge Dart – 223
7t. Erica Enders – Dodge Dart – 223
9.Vincent Nobile – 209
10.Alex Laughlin – 187
11. Deric Kramer – Dodge Dart – 181
12. V. Gaines – Dodge Dart – 155
FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses) 1. Robert Hight – 369 (1)
2. Ron Capps – (Dodge Charger R/T) – 361 (1)
3.John Force – 352
4. Tim Wilkerson – 334 (2)
5.Courtney Force – 322
6.Del Worsham – 318
7. Jack Beckman – (Dodge Charger R/T) – 307
8.Alexis DeJoria – 277 (1)
9.Chad Head – 270
10. Cruz Pedregon – 238
11. Matt Hagan – (Dodge Charger R/T) – 225
12. Tommy Johnson Jr. – (2015 Dodge Charger R/T) – 201