BRAINERD, Minn. – Matt Hagan continued his march towards a second Funny Car world championship as the current points leader raced to the No. 1 qualifying position Friday during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Int’l Raceway.
Clay Millican (Top Fuel) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) lead their respective categories during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.
Hagan, who won the most recent event in Seattle and has four victories in 2013, powered to a run of 4.044 seconds at 315.34 mph in his 8,000-horsepower Magneti Marelli/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger to lead the Funny Car category after the first day of qualifying.
“This whole year has been phenomenal,” Hagan said. “We’re going to keep working hard. Dickie [Venables, crew chief] put a great horse under me, and I’m riding it. We have a consistent car, and it shows on the track and in the points. I’m so glad to be in this position and not have to stand on my head asking people to vote for me [for the final spot in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout].
“I got everybody together today. I didn’t want us to get lost in the whole stigma of the Countdown and I told my guys, ‘Just keep doing what you’ve been doing.’”
Robert Hight is currently in the 10th position in the Countdown to the Championship in his Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car. Coming into the event he was only three points ahead of No. 11 Del Worsham, but Hight, the 2009 Funny Car world champion, posted a run of 4.054 at 312.64 to put him in the No. 2 position in the field after two sessions.
In Top Fuel, Millican raced his 8,000-horsepower Parts Plus dragster to the No. 1 position in Top Fuel with a run of 3.773 at 326.63. Millican earned his first No. 1 qualifying position earlier this year at the event in Englishtown, N.J. and now put himself in contention for the second No. 1 qualifier of his career.