Matt Hagan secured his fourth No. 1 qualifier in Funny Car this season Saturday at the 31st annual CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways.
Steve Torrence (Top Fuel) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 16th of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Hagan powered to his first career No. 1 qualifier at Pacific Raceways in his Sandvik Coromant Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat after his run of 3.913 seconds at 324.75mph from Friday stood strong through Saturday’s qualifying. Sitting fourth overall in the category points, Hagan will strive to narrow the points gap on Sunday as he looks for his third victory in five races.
“I think the new body is just a little bit of a learning curve,” Hagan stated. “The car is obviously running great with No. 1 qualifier but there’s still some things we are learning about this new Hellcat body. I feel confident about it though.”
Defending world champion Robert Hight secured the No. 2 position in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro with his pass of 3.919 at 327.82 during the second qualifying run. He will toe the line against Gary Densham during the first round.
In Top Fuel, category points leader Torrence continued to extend his points lead by securing his second No. 1 qualifying position of the year, as his pass of 3.723 at 331.61 in his Capco Contractors/Torrence Racing dragster from Friday held up. This is Torrence’s first career No. 1 qualifier at Pacific Raceways and he is seeking his second career victory at the facility.
“This season has been a lot of fun,” Torrence said. “The car ran well throughout qualifying and I’m not too concerned with its performance tomorrow. The last time we were No. 1 qualifiers it didn’t bode well for us so hopefully we can turn that around.”
Doug Kalitta will start second in his Mac Tools dragster after his 3.730 at 326.00 on Friday. He will meet Bill Litton in the first round.
Pro Stock’s Coughlin Jr. grabbed his second top qualifier in 2018 as his 6.501s at 212.16mph from Friday in his JEGS.com/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro remained the best in the category. Coughlin, who most recently won at Sonoma, will look to secure his first victory at the facility since 2002 on Sunday.
“I feel pretty good, honestly,” Coughlin stated. “The first run we made today we were third of the session. I think we will use that as a little motivation and an attention grabber for game day tomorrow. We will be on our toes to race and race aggressively.”
Coughlin Jr. will race Joey Grose in the first round of eliminations, while category points leader, Greg Anderson, starts second after his run of 6.503s at 211.79mph on Friday in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro. He will meet Steve Graham in round one on Sunday.
Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. Sunday at Pacific Raceways.