Semifinal Finish for Pedregon Racing’s Dodge Charger SRT® Hellcat at Charlotte’s NHRA Four-Wide Nationals

After a two-year hiatus, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series’ Four-Wide Nationals returned to zMax Dragway with Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon closing out the weekend as the top performer for Mopar® and Dodge//SRT® brands. The veteran driver wheeled his Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to a semifinal finish from the No. 6 qualifying position he earned for Sunday’s elimination rounds.

Matt Hagan drag racing

While the four-wide format hadn’t been run at the Charlotte-area track since 2019, just a month had passed since the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals had yielded promising results for the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) team with Matt Hagan’s runner-up performance and Ron Capps semifinal finish. Pedregon, for his part, was looking to build and capitalize on his team’s steady improvement through the first three races of the 2021 season.

Ron Capps drag racing

The No. 6 seed’s best qualifying run of 3.957 seconds at 322.81 mph put Pedregon Racing in the company of fellow Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat drivers Capps and Hagan for a first round quad elimination along with No. 14 qualifier Cory Lee. Pedregon deep-staged his HEMI®-powered ride and cut a perfect 0.000-second light, and while he wasn’t able to beat the round winner Hagan, his 4.032/323.74 run was enough to give him a holeshot finish to eliminate Capps and advance to the next round.

Matt Hagan drag racing

Pedregon once again crossed the stripe second, this time to No. 2 seed Alexis DeJoria, and defeated Hagan and No. 7 Bob Tasca III to find himself in a position to battle for the event win in the final against DeJoria, No. 2 seed J.R. Todd and No. 1 qualifier John Force. While this time he finished ahead of DeJoria, Pedregon ended the day as a satisfied semifinalist after he was unable to catch runner-up finisher J.R. Todd and event winner John Force.

Matt Hagan sitting on top of his funny car

Hagan and his crew had their work cut out for them heading into eliminations after struggles in qualifying had the blue and white Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat starting from the No. 11 position. Never one to be deterred by a challenge, the reigning Funny Car world champion, came out fighting with a stout 3.936-second elapsed time pass to win the first elimination quad. That set up a second round rematch with Pedregon and brought DeJoria and Tasca into the mix. While Hagan was quickest out of the gate, he saw his early lead erased by a mechanical setback and could only watch as Pedregon and DeJoria advanced past him and to the final quad.

Ron Capps drag racing

For his part as the top qualified HEMI-powered Dodge, Capps was looking to repeat his 2017 winning performance at this four-wide event from the No. 3 seeded position after earning that spot with the second quickest runs in both Saturday sessions and collecting four bonus points for his efforts. Aboard his chrome blue Pennzoil Synthetics NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, Capps drove a solid 3.991 seconds/273.88 mph run with a 0.067-second reaction time, but despite Pedregon’s slower run, his opponent’s perfect reaction time put Capps third across the finish and ended his day prematurely. 

Leah Pruett drag racing

In Top Fuel action, Leah Pruett was feeling pretty confident about her chances to perform well in eliminations after taking her white and blue Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel dragster to the No. 3 position in the opening qualifying session with a 3.718 second elapsed time run. That performance put her in the top half of the field for the 44th time in 50 opportunities, including the past seven events. In the opening Top Fuel quad against Antron Brown, Shawn Langdon, and Krista Baldwin, Pruett had a respectable start but was forced to abandon the run after issues surfaced early. The NHRA’s 70th anniversary season continues with the next event set to take place this coming weekend, May 21-23, near Houston, Texas, at the Mopar Express Lane SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil, the first of five national events for which Mopar and Dodge//SRT share title sponsorship duties this season.