Matt Hagan Powers To No. 1 In Arizona

Matt Hagan is in the No. 1 spot so far during qualifying for the NHRA Arizona Nationals. (Ivan Veldhuizen Photo)
Matt Hagan is in the No. 1 spot so far during qualifying for the NHRA Arizona Nationals. (Ivan Veldhuizen Photo)

CHANDLER, Ariz. – Matt Hagan continued his domination of Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park on Friday, capturing the provisional No. 1 qualifying spot at the 36th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals.

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) also ended Friday as provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories.

Hagan took the provisional No. 1 spot during the second qualifying session with a pass of 3.859 seconds at 331.61 mph in his Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. Hagan is looking to continue his momentum from the season opener in Pomona after seeding himself in the No. 1 spot at the Winternationals two weeks ago. Hagan is the reigning event winner and is looking to take home his 34th career win, three of which have come at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.

“We have a really great race car,” said Hagan. “We qualified No. 1 in Pomona and then rolling here into Phoenix, the provisional No. 1. The car is just really working. We have to make some better decisions on race day, but race day is race day. You never know what is going to happen and what you will get thrown at you and how the track will be. But all-in-all conditions are great out here right now. The car is good, the track is good and just all around a really good pass.”

Sixteen-time Funny Car champion John Force is close on the heels of Hagan, currently sitting in the No. 2 spot after a pass of 3.861 seconds at 331.94 mph. Force’s teammate Robert Hight currently sits in the third spot with a 3.867-second pass at 330.55 mph.

Reigning Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence, making his return to NHRA competition after skipping the opener in Pomona while his team appealed a penalty against him that was issued following the 2019 season finale, grabbed the provisional No. 1 spot with a 3.671-second pass at 326.48 mph in his CAPCO Contractors Top Fuel dragster.

If it holds, Torrence will claim his 25th career No. 1 qualifier.

The ladies of Top Fuel are looking to take the No. 1 spot from Torrence, with Brittany Force in second with a 3.680-second run at 331.12 mph and Leah Pruett close behind in third with a 3.680-second pass at 328.06 mph.

Pro Stock’s Coughlin continued his successful start to the season, claiming the provisional No. 1 spot with a 6.536-second pass at 208.46 mph. Coughlin has swept the season so far, having grabbed the No. 1 qualifying spot and the event win at the season opener in Pomona.

Coughlin is on the hunt for his sixth Pro Stock world championship, hoping to end his career on top, after announcing his retirement at the conclusion of the season.

Erica Enders, Coughlin’s teammate, sits in a close second with a 6.565-second run at 209.82 mph, followed by Aaron Stanfield, who ran a 6.567-second pass at 207.69 mph.