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Matt Hagan NHRA Sonoma Nationals Event Preview

Part two of NHRA's annual Western Swing begins this weekend at Sonoma Raceway where Hagan, Mopar team are ready to win

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SONOMA, Calif. (July 28, 2015) – The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to its second stop on the annual three-race Western Swing this weekend with the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway near San Francisco.After the first of three consecutive events last weekend near Denver at an altitude of more than 5,800 feet above sea level, the Mopar Express Lane team will adjust to the sea level of just above 15 feet for this weekend’s event, the 15th of the 24-race NHRA season.

It’ll be a welcome adjustment for the Mopar/Rocky Boots team led by crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Michael Knudsen.

hagan“Denver is just one race that you have to change so much for,” Matt said. “It’s just a tough, tough race on everybody so when we roll into Sonoma everyone will be refreshed and ready to go. Everything will go back to normal for us this weekend and we’re excited about it. We’ve never won at Sonoma and we’d like to bring a Wally back from this Western Swing.”

The NHRA Funny Car points leaders and defending world champions have a runner-up finish (2012) at Sonoma and two poles (2009, 2013).

“Sonoma is one of the nicest facilities we go to,” Matt said. “The track is just great. We’ve made some great runs there but we’ve just never had success on race day so we’re looking to change that this year.”

Matt is already looking ahead to the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff that begins in September near Charlotte. Just four regular season races remain.

“This season is just flying by and we’re just trying to gather up all the data we can and make a good game plan for those final six races,” he said. “We just have four more races of the regular season left and then it’s on for the championship.

“Our points lead will go away when they reset the points and it’ll be a battle. We’ve got three of our Don Schumacher Racing Funny Cars in the top-four in points so you can see who our toughest competition is. It’s going to be a fight to the finish, for sure.”

MATT HAGAN, Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots 2015 Dodge Charger R/T
Last event: Denver, (July 26, 2015): Qualified No. 6; lost in quarterfinals to Jack Beckman
A year ago at Sonoma: Qualified No. 5; lost in semifinals to Courtney Force
Career at Sonoma: Wins 0; Runner-ups 1 (2012); Poles 2 (2009, 2013)

         Pts Events Wins Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ   W/L
2015 1st      14         4       1       2      4       2         3       0     28-10
CAREER     158      18     17     23    49      47     20       4    217-136

Best Time, Speed: 3.973 sec. (2015, Norwalk); 324.83 (2015, Phoenix)

2015 NHRA MELLO YELLO FUNNY CAR CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Official after Denver; 14 of 24 races; DSR drivers in CAPS)
DRIVER (WINS)                     POINTS    BEHIND
1. MATT HAGAN (4)                1,083          —–
2. JACK BECKMAN (4)              938          -145
3. John Force (2)                         891         -192
4. RON CAPPS (2)                      879         -204
5. Del Worsham                           868         -215
6. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1)     798         -228
7. Cruz Pedregon                        782          -301
7. Tim Wilkerson (1)                    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 atwww.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
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