Hagan Leads Mopar After First Day of Qualifying at Dodge NHRA Nationals 

  • Matt Hagan uses Mopar HEMI® power to claim provisional No. 2 spot in Funny Car during qualifying for 33rd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway
  • Leah Pritchett sits fifth to lead Mopar in Top Fuel
  • Pritchett is carrying special wrap celebrating Mopar’s 80th anniversary 
  • Pritchett defeats Hagan in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon match race
  • Second annual Mopar Mega Block Party kicks off event at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, NHRA on FOX’s Dave Rieff wins home run derby
  • Retiring Mopar Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson receives special honors as he makes 500th start this weekend
September 22, 2017 , Mohnton, Pa. - The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship continues this weekend with the 33rd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading. After the first day of qualifying, Matt Hagan and the Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) sit in the second position to lead the Mopar HEMI®-powered contingent.
Hagan turned in a 3.874-second pass at 335.82 mph during the second qualifying session to claim the provisional No. 2 spot. His DSR teammate Ron Capps currently sits No. 3 in his Dodge Charger R/T, while Jack Beckman is fourth in the Infinite Hero Dodge from DSR. Tommy Johnson Jr. and the Make-A-Wish team rounded out the Mopar Funny Car squads with a 10th-place effort through two sessions.
The Mopar Top Fuel teams from the DSR shop are fifth and sixth, with Leah Pritchett claiming the No. 5 position in a special Mopar 80th Anniversary dragster she is campaigning throughout the weekend at Maple Grove. Tony Schumacher sits sixth in the U.S. Army car.

Pritchett Defeats Hagan in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Match Race
On Friday afternoon, Pritchett and Hagan also took part in the first of two head-to-head match races slated for the weekend in 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demons. Pritchett got off the line first and continued to lead her Mopar teammate at the finish. The two also squared off in the street-legal beasts during the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals earlier this season at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, where Pritchett defeated Hagan twice. The next matchup between the two drivers is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Maple Grove Raceway between the third and fourth Pro qualifying sessions.  

Second Annual Mopar Mega Block Party
Crowds filled FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading on Thursday night to kick off the Dodge NHRA Nationals with the second annual Mopar Mega Block Party. The evening featured the unveiling of Pritchett’s Mopar 80th Anniversary Top Fuel dragster, a home run derby where NHRA on FOX play-by-play announcer Dave Rieff bested Mopar drivers, staff and other NHRA personalities to raise money for the Infinite Hero and Make-A-Wish Foundations, and special recognition for retiring Mopar Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson. Johnson is making his 500th start this weekend and was honored with a video tribute and unique helmet celebrating special moments in his career. Greg Anderson is the only active Pro Stock driver with more starts than Johnson. Autograph sessions, live bands, an all-Mopar car show featuring close to 100 vehicles and an enormous fireworks display were also part of the festivities.

Mopar/Dodge Notes & Quotes

Matt Hagan, Mopar 80th/Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car
“We got some bonus points (three) and it was a good opening day for our Mopar Express Lane Dodge. We have a lot of great information to with those two good runs like that. It’s just what we needed to do. It will be hot again tomorrow for everybody and we run a little earlier. I hope we can at least stay where we are (second). We just want to keep working at it. It’s a big weekend for us with Dodge and Mopar."

Leah Pritchett, Mopar 80th Anniversary Top Fuel Dragster  
“This competition is extremely fierce. We feel good about tomorrow, we’re going to push again and couldn’t be more excited to run the Mopar 80th Anniversary Top Fuel dragster at the Dodge NHRA Nationals, and get another win in the Demon against my teammate Matt Hagan. I think it’s super cool, this is the only place in the world that people are able to see two Demons run side by side. For Matt and I to be able to do that is something very special.”

Tune-in Info
The 33rd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals continue on Saturday, September 23, with FOX Sports 1 slated to broadcast the final two qualifying sessions Sunday, September 24, at 1:30 a.m. ET.

For more information on Mopar and Dodge in NHRA, check out the Mopar brand’s official blog, http://blog.mopar.com.

About Mopar Motorsports
The Mopar brand’s commitment to professional motorsports competition was established in the 1950s when a partnership ignited with drag racing pioneer Don Garlits, resulting in the breaking of numerous speed and performance barriers in HEMI-powered vehicles over the next several decades. In 2016, thanks to Don Schumacher Racing driver Ron Capps, Mopar captured its fourth NHRA Funny Car World Championship in the last six years. As Mopar celebrates 80 years as a brand in 2017, it will focus its NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series efforts on NHRA Funny Car and, with rising star Leah Pritchett, NHRA Top Fuel Dragster. Mopar will also bolster its commitment to NHRA Sportsman racing with new contingency rewards, factory support and at-track technical advice and guidance.

Mopar-First Features
During the brand’s 80 years, Mopar has introduced numerous industry-first features including:
  • Vehicle-information apps: first to introduce smartphone vehicle-information applications, a new channel of communication with consumers
  • wiADVISOR: first to incorporate a tablet-based service lane tool
  • Electronic Vehicle Tracking System (EVTS): first to market with a new interactive vehicle tracking device that sends owner a text when vehicle is driven too fast or too far based on pre-set parameters
  • Wi-Fi: first to offer customers the ability to make their vehicle a wireless hot spot
  • Electronic owner manuals: first to introduce traditional owner manuals on a smartphone app

About Mopar
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) is the service, parts and customer-care brand for FCA vehicles around the globe. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the Mopar brand has evolved over more than 80 years to represent both complete care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for all FCA US LLC vehicle brands. Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles, offering a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. Complete information on the Mopar brand is available at www.mopar.com.

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