Matt Hagan’s Crazy Good NHRA Run at Epping Continues

Matt Hagan’s impressive string of success at New England Dragway continued on Friday, as the defending Funny Car world champion rolled to the provisional No. 1 spot at the TascaParts.com NHRA New England Nationals presented by Bandero Premium Tequila.

Billy Torrence (Top Fuel) and Mason McGaha (Pro Stock) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the sixth race of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.

Hagan has won the past three events at the track in Funny Car and put himself in a good position to win a fourth straight race at New England Dragway, powering to the top with a run of 3.891-seconds at 331.53 mph in his 11,000-horsepower DSR Performance Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye. If it holds, it would give Hagan, who is looking for his first win of the 2021 campaign, his first No. 1 qualifier of the year and 41st in his career.

“When you put Don Schumacher Racing Performance parts and (crew chief) Dickie Venables together, that’s what you get out here,” Hagan said. “We’ve won this race three years in a row and we’re trying to make it four, but you know that’s hard to do. There’s something about being up here in New England, and Dickie has a great combo for the car and it drives great. Everything went really well, so we’re happy.”

Gainesville winner J.R. Todd was the only other driver to make a three-second run in Funny Car, taking the second spot with a pass of 3.976 at 324.05. Blake Alexander is currently in the third position after going 4.040 at 317.94.

Torrence raced to the No. 1 position in Top Fuel, going 3.744 at 324.98 in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster. It was an impressive showing from Torrence, who can claim his second No. 1 spot in 2021 and fifth in his career if it holds up. Torrence is also searching for his first career victory at New England Dragway, while his son, Steve, has back-to-back wins at the track. Justin Ashley, NHRA’s Rookie of the Year in 2020, was the only other driver in the class to make a three-second run, posting a strong 3.774 at 322.58. Doug Kalitta sits in the third position thanks to his pass of 4.002 at 252.80.

In Pro Stock, 19-year-old Mason McGaha drove to the top spot on Friday in his Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro thanks to a solid run of 6.538 at 210.28. It was a noteworthy run for the second-year NHRA driver, as he would earn his first career No. 1 qualifier should it hold. It’s the latest triumph for McGaha, who is fourth in points and has advanced to two final rounds in 2021. Aaron Stanfield is currently second after going 6.545 at 210.83 and defending world champ Erica Enders, who won in Epping in 2017, rounds out the top three after going 6.548 at 210.24. It is Pro Stock’s first appearance at the track since 2018.

Qualifying continues Saturday at the TascaParts.com NHRA New England Nationals presented by Bandero Premium Tequila at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Friday Qualifying Results

Friday’s results after the first one of three rounds of qualifying for the ninth annual TascaParts.com NHRA New England Nationals presented by Bandero Premium Tequila at New England Dragway, sixth of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel—1. Billy Torrence, 3.744 seconds, 324.98 mph; 2. Justin Ashley, 3.774, 322.58; 3. Doug Kalitta, 4.002, 252.80; 4. Antron Brown, 6.610, 88.28; 5. Brittany Force, 6.663, 87.22; 6. Shawn Langdon, 8.534, 86.09; 7. Steve Torrence, 8.562, 78.47; 8. Joe Morrison, 8.784, 87.76; 9. Mike Salinas, 9.062, 62.46; 10. Leah Pruett, 16.497, 37.37.

Funny Car—1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.891, 331.53; 2. J.R. Todd, Toyota Camry, 3.976, 324.05; 3. Blake Alexander, Ford Mustang, 4.040, 317.94; 4. Ron Capps, Charger, 7.303, 93.34; 5. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 7.431, 85.24; 6. Cory Lee, Mustang, 7.479, 89.55; 7. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 7.603, 88.35; 8. Jim Campbell, Charger, 7.735, 83.46; 9. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 7.863, 82.65; 10. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 8.332, 77.51; 11. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 12.863, 80.87; 12. Robert Hight, Camaro, 14.152, 69.47. Not Qualified: 13. Cruz Pedregon, broke.

Pro Stock—1. Mason McGaha, Chevy Camaro, 6.538, 210.28; 2. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.545, 210.83; 3. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.548, 210.24; 4. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.551, 210.37; 5. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.554, 210.28; 6. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.556, 210.47; 7. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.589, 209.72; 8. Val Smeland, Camaro, 6.603, 209.17; 9. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.657, 207.98; 10. Richie Stevens, Camaro, 6.676, 209.26; 11. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 7.126, 151.77; 12. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 11.414, 86.35; 13. John Gaydosh Jr, Camaro, 14.821, 87.89; 14. Bob Benza, Camaro, 16.604, 45.53; 15. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 35.927, 22.74; 16. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, broke.

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