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- 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
April 24, 2016 , Concord, North Carolina - 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.
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.
"Dickie (Venables) and our team worked really hard these last two weeks," said Hagan of his crew chief. "He changed some things around and we came here and ran a 3.94 out of the box so that really got everybody's confidence up. We were able to come back out first round and run a 3.93.”
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
"I know we're going to stay over and test tomorrow and make some more runs and hopefully fine tune it a little bit more," Hagan added.An audio file of Matt Hagan talking about the progress his #mopar team has made at the #nhra Four-Wide Nationals is available at:https://soundcloud.com/chryslercommunications/matt-hagan-nhra-four-wide-weekend-recap
Seeded tenth, fellow HEMI-powered teammate Capps flirted with the centerline on his first run, came back with a 4.045/312.13 pass to advance to the into the final four where he was first off the line but crossed the finish third with a 4.055 315.42 lap.
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.
"First round was a much better run for us but by no means was it a great run," said Enders of the #mopar
Performance Dodge Dart’s improvements. "That was encouraging. We learned a lot this weekend. We completely used this race as a test session for us. I'm glad we were able to learn some stuff, and we certainly made a move in the right direction.”
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. Line went on to win the round and then the Pro Stock Four-Wide title.
“The things we figured out this week, we'll apply to Houston,” added Enders who is the two-time defending title winner at Royal Purple Raceway. “Our rigs were supposed to go directly to Houston, but they're going to go back to the shop and we're going to work on our racecars and try to do our best to win in our hometown next week."
Enders is now tied with her Elite Motorsports teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. in seventh place in the Pro Stock points standings.
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.
"It's been a rough Four-Wide," Coughlin said. "And I'm surprised by that because the team came out of Vegas and had a great couple of weeks on the dyno. Plus, testing was done last week in Oklahoma and that went well. It just didn't happen for us once we got here.”
Seeded ninth, Allen Johnson and his J& J #racing
Marathon Petroleum Dodge Dart GT also came up short in the first round with a decent lap of 6.642/207.69 and finishing behind Greg Anderson and Chris McGaha.
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.
The next race #event
takes place this upcoming weekend at the 29th annual #nhra
SpringNationals, the sixth of 24 events on the 2016 #nhra
Mello Yello Drag #racing
Series season schedule, at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston Texas on April 29-May 1. Television coverage of the #event
will be available on FS1 with a one hour qualifying show on Friday, April 29 at 8 p.m. (ET) and a two hour final qualifying recap on Saturday night at midnight. A three hour eliminations broadcast is scheduled for Sunday, May 1 starting at 5 p.m. ET. 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 – 2876. Allen Johnson – Dodge Dart – 2447t. Jeg Coughlin Jr. – Dodge Dart – 2237t. Erica Enders – Dodge Dart – 223
9. Vincent Nobile – 209
10. Alex Laughlin – 18711. Deric Kramer – Dodge Dart – 18112. 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 – 3187. Jack Beckman – (Dodge Charger R/T) – 307
8. Alexis DeJoria – 277 (1)
9. Chad Head – 270
10. Cruz Pedregon – 23811. Matt Hagan – (Dodge Charger R/T) – 22512. Tommy Johnson Jr. – (2015 Dodge Charger R/T) – 201