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Matt Hagan Races to Finals at NHRA Winternationals Before Rain Halts Competition

Matt Hagan, driving the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Car, showcased why In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip is one of the tracks he’s successful at during the 64th NHRA Winternationals this weekend. Despite facing unpredictable weather, Hagan’s performance remained undeterred, earning him the No. 1 qualifying position and a spot in the finals.

Starting strong, Hagan secured the No. 5 provisional qualifying spot on Friday with an impressive run of 4.454 ET at 195.59 mph. However, it was on Saturday that Hagan truly shone, clocking an outstanding 3.893 ET at 330.15 mph in Q2, propelling him to the top of the qualifying leaderboard. Unfortunately, Q3 on Saturday was canceled due to weather, shortening the day’s events but not diminishing Hagan’s momentum.

Advancing through to the finals on Sunday, Hagan demonstrated his racing excellence by defeating Buddy Hull, Jeff Diehl, and J.R. Todd in successive rounds. His journey to the finals was marked by consistent performance, showcasing both the team’s strategic prowess and Hagan’s driving skills. However, the final race was postponed due to weather and will be concluded at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.

“We didn’t leave here a loser today, so that’s a good thing,” stated Hagan. “It’s always challenging to take your car to a race track that you don’t have very many runs at, in order to finish a race. But that’s what we’re going to do. The weather made things difficult to finish in Pomona, so I understand the NHRA’s decision. We will go to Phoenix and hopefully get a few runs under our belt and put forth our best effort to win the race there and do well in qualifying. We’ll get to participate in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, so we get to do three races in one weekend. It’ll be a lot going on for the team, so I’m looking forward to it.”

By advancing to the Semifinals, Hagan has also secured his position in the NHRA’s #2Fast2Tasty Mission NHRA Challenge. He is set to face off against J.R. Todd in Phoenix, where bonus money and points will be on the line. This adds an extra layer of excitement to the upcoming races as Hagan and his team prepare for a busy and competitive weekend.

This story was originally published on March 27, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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