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Mopar victory at NHRA Winternationals

by David Zatz on

Matt Hagan’s first run in 2018’s drag-racing season resulted in a victory for Mopar and Dodge at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Crew chief Dickie Venables (left), Mopar Motorsports Marketing Manager Dale Aldo (center) and driver Matt Hagan celebrate after winning at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last year.

The two-time NHRA Funny Car champion also claimed the pole in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, his second straight win at the NHRA Winternationals and the 27th of his career in 48 final rounds.

Hagan’s teammate Tony Schumacher was a runner-up in Top Fuel; while Larry Gilley won in NHRA Stock Eliminator driving a 1969 Dodge Dart GTS 340. The Mopar team’s Jack Beckman and Ron Capps made it to the semi-finals.

Hagan had the top qualifying spot on Saturday with a 3.822-second elapsed time (ET), and the second quickest run of the first round on Sunday, defeating Dodge Charger R/T driver Jim Campbell. In the all-Mopar final, Hagan’s 3.823/335.90 run was enough to hold off Hight’s strong 3.866/336.99 pass.

Tony Schumacher raced his Mopar HEMI-powered U.S. Army dragster to his first final round since the 2017 Atlanta event. Schumacher outran Terry McMillen, Terry Haddock and Antron Brown before falling to Doug Kalitta in the money round.

Leah Pritchett will look to rebound from an early first-round exit at Pomona; her parachute popped out prematurely during the burnout, ending her Winternationals title defense before it could truly begin.

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