Mopar/Dodge Notes & Quotes: New England Nationals

7 years ago Racing

Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car drivers continue to dominate in NHRA racing as Matt Hagan wins the New England Nationals, notching the eight Dodge win in nine races in 2017.

Matt Hagan, Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.874 seconds at 330.00 mph)

“This Mopar/Pennzoil/Sandvik car had been on a string all day long and it just ran down the racetrack, I didn’t hardly have to drive it. Just everything went the way it should’ve today. My lights were good, I felt like I was killing the tree the way we need to be and everything just fell into place. We kept lane choice all the way up to the final, which I thought was pretty big because we really liked that left lane a lot better than the right. I think the right gave a lot of people some trouble today. So to be able to stay over there most of the day was big. But (crew chief) Dickie (Venables) went down the right lane and won it in the right lane. So it was pretty cool. Hats off to him and all my guys. I know my wife’s pretty pumped back home. I’m just very blessed to be able to win. Blessed to be able to put a mouthpiece in and pull on a helmet.”

Tommy Johnson Jr., Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car

(No. 9 Qualifier – 3.900 seconds at 324.75 mph)
“Certainly I would have liked to get to the final again for three years in a row, but it wasn’t meant to be. But I’m really happy with just going to the semis and kind of getting our stride back. The guys haven’t had to service for a while after the first round so we’re just getting confidence and building that momentum. I talked about four in a row before this race and you can obviously get on a roll and this is a good way to start it.”

Ron Capps, NAPA Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car

(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.863 seconds at 328.30 mph)

“We still feel great. It’s a bummer the streak is over, but with the competition the way it is in Funny Car, winning 17 rounds like that in a row is pretty amazing. So it points back to what (crew chief Rahn) Tobler and all the guys have done on the car. We didn’t beat ourselves that round, we just got outrun a little bit and we knew Courtney and that team were going to be tough. We really feel like we can get right back on top and keep rolling these points. They’re important right now. We obviously want to win the regular season, but just to take these rounds early in the year has been a lot of fun.”

Jack Beckman, Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car

(No. 5 Qualifier – 3.878 seconds at 330.23 mph)

“It’s frustrating. There are some weekends you put a silver lining on. We lost in the final at Charlotte but we did a great job making adjustments to get to that point. We left there with our heads held high even though we didn’t win the race. Here it’s a little different story. We unloaded with a nice run and got qualifying bonus points and then never made it to the finish line under power after that. It’s very uncharacteristic of us and there’s not a smoking gun. There’s not one thing that caused our issues. In fact, that’s what’s frustrating to us, is we were chasing so many little gremlins.”

Leah Pritchett, Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.673 seconds at 328.86 mph)

“We feel pretty solid. I mean our goal was to put the Demon head on the pole and we did, but it wasn’t necessarily an easy task. We chased after it back and forth. We feel good about starting the swing off like this. We’re happy. We’re happy with our performance. We’re happy with ourselves. We see where we need to improve, but right now we’re pushing our HEMI-powered Mopar, powered by Pennzoil, to the limit and this Demon has some more head to show.”

Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.703 seconds at 327.03 mph)

“Smax (Smith) was so excited. You hate losing, but there is some silver lining seeing how they were reacting after the race. It put a smile on my face watching him do the winner’s interview at the top end. That’s the first round win he ever had and it seems like everyone’s first is against me. That’s racing and things happen so quickly. The car kind of gave me a quick quiver. It just stuck in and then went up in smoke. I thought, ‘I got this’ and I hit it again. It pulled me over to the left and I stopped and let it calm down and then I squeezed it again. He went around me after I stopped and I saw him way out there. When I got back into it, I just couldn’t catch him.”

Next Event

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series remains in the Northeast next weekend for the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. For decades the Englishtown event has been one of the most prestigious on the NHRA schedule.

The NHRA Summernationals will take place on June 8 – 11. The event will be broadcast throughout the weekend on FOX Sports 1, with Sunday’s opening elimination rounds airing LIVE at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 11. The conclusion of the program is slated for broadcast on the network at 6:00 p.m. ET that evening.

For more information on Mopar and Dodge in NHRA, check out the Mopar brand’s official blog,
2017 NHRA Championship – Point Standings After Round 9 of 24
(Season Wins in Parentheses)

NHRA Funny Car

  1. Rob Capps, Dodge Charger R/T (4) – 827
  2. Matt Hagen, Dodge Charger R/T (3) – 748
  3. Courtney Force – 564
  4. Robert Hight – 561
  5. John Force (1) – 555
  6. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger R/T – 537  
  7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger R/T (1) – 533
  8. J.R. Todd – 413
  9. Tim Wilkerson – 393
  10. Del Worsham – 341

NHRA Top Fuel

  1. Leah Pritchett, Mopar HEMI (3) – 809
  2. Antron Brown (2) – 775
  3. Steve Torrence (2) – 746
  4. Tony Schumacher, Mopar HEMI (1) – 712
  5. Doug Kalitta – 571
  6. Brittany Force (1) – 528
  7. Clay Millican – 466
  8. Troy Coughlin Jr. – 379
  9. Terry McMillen –  369
  10. Scott Palmer – 328





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