MORRISON, Colo. (July 26, 2015) – Matt Hagan isn’t going to leave Bandimere Speedway near Denver with a Wally trophy from the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals and that stings a little bit.
The Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots team really wanted to conquer Thunder Mountain for sponsor Mopar and all of its guests attending the race at the picturesque Bandimere facility.
“That’s how it goes out here on the mountain in Denver,” Matt said. “We got out of first round which was good for the guys. This is a tough race, you have to change so much stuff to come up here that you just have to hope for the best.
“We want to win this race because it’s a Mopar sponsored race and there’s a lot of Mopar folks here. It’s drag racing, you put nitro in the tank and you never know what’s going to happen.”
Matt used a quicker reaction time in the opening round of Sunday’s NHRA Mello Yello eliminations to defeat opponent Del Worsham on a holeshot before being paired against Don Schumacher Racing teammate and three-time winner this season Jack Beckman.
“It’s nice when you can give your guys back something,” Matt said of the first-round win. “They work hard and they depend on the driver to do his job and that’s what I did today.”
But the second race turned heads when Beckman and his Jimmy Prock-tuned Dodge Charger R/T clocked the best time of the round with a run in 4.124 seconds that ended Matt’s day.
“I didn’t expect to see Jack run a 4.12,” Matt said. “I looked over at the 60-foot and saw the back of his car and I thought it wasn’t supposed to be that way. They just had a really great lap.”
Matt will take the NHRA Funny Car points lead to the second stop on the Western Swing next weekend at Sonoma, Calif. The series will then head north to near Seattle for the final stop on the swing.
DON SCHUMACHER RECEIVES ‘MOPAR PRESIDENT’S AWARD’
NHRA hall-of-fame drag racer, Funny Car pioneer Don Schumacher was presented the “Mopar President’s Award,” a special honor to reward the outstanding contributions by a brand ambassador that upholds the qualities and values that add to Mopar’s legacy and reputation.
Ross McGinnis, Vice President Mopar Sales & Product Development, and Tricia Hecker, Head of Mopar Marketing, had the pleasure of presenting Don Schumacher the award on behalf of Mopar President and CEO Pietro Gorlier.
The Mopar President’s Award was created to recognize motorsport pioneers and legends who have been affiliated with Mopar throughout their career.
Previous recipients of the Mopar President’s Award include Allen and Roy Johnson (2013), the man regarded as the “Father of the HEMI,” Tom Hoover (2014), and drag racing legend “Big Daddy” Don Garlits (2015).
Winner: Jack Beckman (Don Schumacher Racing)
No. 1 qualifier: John Force (John Force Racing) 4.015 sec.-track record, 318.09 mph
MATT HAGAN, Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots 2015 Dodge Charger R/T
QUALIFIED: No. 6
First round: HAGAN (4.235 sec., 303.712) def. Del Worsham (4.221, 292.39)
Quarterfinals: Jack Beckman (4.124, 302.48) def. HAGAN (4.391, 228.11)
SATURDAY: 4.124 sec., 309.34 mph, (Session 3); 4.065, 310.20, (Session 4)
FRIDAY: 11.248, 78.98, (Session 1), 4.093, 305.22, (Session 2)
2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO FUNNY CAR CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Unofficial after Denver; 14 of 24 races; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (WINS) POINTS BEHIND
1. MATT HAGAN 1,083 —
2. JACK BECKMAN 938 -145
3. John Force 891 -192
4. RON CAPPS 879 -204
5. Del Worsham 868 -215
6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. 855 -228
7. Cruz Pedregon 782 -301
7. Tim Wilkerson 782 -301
9. Alexis DeJoria 731 -352
10. Robert Hight 703 -380
About the Mopar Brand
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words Motor and PARts) was trademarked in 1937 with the launch of an antifreeze product but truly made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era. From Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, the brand soon expanded to include technical service and customer support.
Today, Mopar is FCA’s service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in more than 130 markets, integrating service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for FCA brands.
Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered with the same teams that create factory-authorized vehicle specifications for FCA vehicles – a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at www.mopar.com.
About Rocky Brands
Rocky Brands, Inc. is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of premium quality footwear and apparel marketed under a portfolio of well recognized brand names including Rocky®, Georgia Boot®, Durango®, Lehigh® and the licensed brand Michelin® Footwear. Rocky Brands is proud to supply footwear to the United States military. For more information, visit RockyBrands.com.
About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., fields seven professional NHRA teams. In Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel world champion Matco Tools dragster driven by Antron Brown and the Red Fuel Powered by Schumacher dragster driven by Spencer Massey; and in Funny Car, 2011 and 2014 world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots 2015 Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.
DSR has won 258 NHRA national event titles and 13 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing