By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Mopar-sponsored Funny Car pilot Matt Hagan was able to retain his No. 1 position from Friday. He will lead the Funny Car field on Sunday at the 38th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota.
This is Hagan’s first No. 1 qualifier of the season with his 3.890 at 328.46 mph pass. In addition, this is his 35th No. 1 qualifier of his career.
“Honestly, I didn’t’ know if that run from [Friday] would hold,” said Hagan. “We ran a little later this evening, and everyone was pushing. We were pushing hard that last lap. We let it all hang out. It didn’t stick, but it was one of those things where you can try to make a hero run when you are sitting in position we were in. We really feel good about the car and the race day set-up. Everything is kind of coming together right now. As long as we turn four win lights on tomorrow that’s all that really matters.
“We sure hope [Sunday] is our day. It will be a challenge trying to keep lane choice all day. That will be big but we’ll get up and see what we can do.”
The Christiansburg, Virginia native will face Dale Creasy Jr. in the first-round of eliminations. The Bleecher, Illinois native went 4.256 at 237.55 mph.
Infinite Hero Foundation Funny Car pilot Jack Beckman is the No. 2 qualifier. The Norco, California native went 3.908 at 325.53 mph.
Beckman will face Terry Haddock in the first-round of eliminations. The Temple, Texas native went 4.076 at 277.32 mph.
Living legend John Force is the No. 3 qualifier. The Yorba Linda, California native went 3.923 at 321.12 mph.
Force — who is fresh off of his 150th career win at the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals — will face Bob Bode Jr. in the first-round of eliminations. The Barrington, Illinois native went 4.038 at 311.05 mph.
AAA of Southern California sponsored Funny Car pilot Robert Hight is the No. 4 qualifier. The Yorba Linda, California native went 3.924 at 326.48 mph.
Hight will face Cruz Pedregon in the first-round of eliminations. The Brownsburg, Indiana native went 4.031 at 315.49 mph.
Make-A-Wish Foundation Funny Car pilot Tommy Johnson Jr. is the No. 5 qualifier. The Avon, Indiana native went 3.926 at 318.54 mph.
Johnson Jr. will face Tim Wilkerson in the first-round of eliminations. The Springfield, Illinois native went 3.993 at 312.78 mph.
The rest of the ladder looked like this:
6. Shawn Langdon, Toyota Camry, 3.935, 318.02 mph vs. 11. Paul Lee, Charger, 3.969, 318.69 mph
7. Ron Capps, Charger, 3.936, 325.53 mph vs. 10. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.963, 321.27 mph
8. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.950, 322.96 mph vs. 9. Jonnie Lindberg, Mustang, 3.963, 322.65 mph
Did Not Qualify:
17. Jim Campbell, 4.304, 231.20 mph