Matt Hagan dominates at the Duel in the Desert

Saturday, Feb 22 452
Reigning event winner Matt Hagan continued his domination of Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, capturing the provisional No. 1 qualifier spot on Friday at the 36th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals, in his hunt for back-to-back wins in Phoenix.
 
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) and Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock) also claimed provisional No. 1 qualifier spots in their respective categories at the second of 24 events on the 2020 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series calendar.
 
Hagan took the provisional No. 1 spot during the second qualifying session with a pass of 3.859-seconds at 331.61 mph in his Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car. Hagan is looking to continue his momentum from the season opener in Pomona after seeding himself in the No. 1 spot at the Winternationals two weeks ago. Hagan is the reigning event winner and is looking to take home his 34th career win, three of which have come at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.
 
“We have a really great race car,” said Hagan. “We qualified No. 1 in Pomona and then rolling here into Phoenix, the provisional No. 1. The car is just really working. We have to make some better decisions on race day, but race day is race day. You never know what is going to happen and what you will get thrown at you and how the track will be. But all-in-all conditions are great out here right now. The car is good, the track is good and just all around a really good pass.”
 
Sixteen-time Funny Car champion John Force is close on the heels of Hagan, currently sitting in the No. 2 spot after a pass of 3.861-seconds at 331.94. Force’s teammate Robert Hight currently sits in the third spot with a 3.867-second pass at 330.55.
 
Current Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence is looking to continue the momentum from 2019, grabbing the provisional No. 1 spot with a 3.671-second pass at 326.48 in his CAPCO Contractors Top Fuel dragster. If it holds, Torrence will claim his 25th career No. 1 qualifier.
 
The ladies of Top Fuel are looking to take the No. 1 spot from Torrence, with Brittany Force in second with a 3.680 at 331.12 and Leah Pruett close behind in third with a 3.680-second pass at 328.06.
 
Pro Stock’s Jeg Coughlin continues his successful start to the season, clinching the provisional No. 1 spot with a 6.536-second pass at 208.46. Coughlin has swept the season so far, having grabbed the No. 1 qualifying spot and the event win at the season opener in Pomona. Coughlin is on the hunt for his sixth Pro Stock world championship, hoping to end his career on top, after announcing his retirement at the conclusion of the 2020 season. Coughlin is currently embarking on his Breaking Barriers 2020 Tour.
 
Erica Enders, Coughlin’s teammate, sits in a close second with a 6.565 at 209.82, followed by Aaron Stanfield, who ran a 6.567-second pass at 207.69.
 
Qualifying continues Saturday at the 36th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at 1:00 p.m. MT.
 
Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

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