NHRA: Hagan, Todd and Line are top first-day qualifiers at Las Vegas

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Matt Hagan (Funny Car), J.R. Todd (Top Fuel) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) led the way in the first day of qualifying Friday at the SummitRacing.com Nationals.

The fifth race of the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is being held this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The defending 2014 season Funny Car champ, Hagan took the provisional No. 1 qualifying spot in Funny Car with a 4.007 second run at 318.02 mph on his second of two qualifying attempts.

“What impressed me is we went 318 (mph) with two holes out with 100 feet left to go,” Hagan said in an NHRA media release. “To do that on six cylinders is pretty impressive.

“(Crew chief) Dickie Venables is making a lot of horsepower. He’s making the right calls on the racetrack. The car is really strong.”

Hagan is going for his third win of the season, having won the first two races of 2015.

Jack Beckman, who won the last race two weeks ago in the Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte, was the second-quickest qualifier (4.014 seconds at 315.64 mph), while Tommy Johnson Jr. was third (4.020 seconds at 313.07 mph).

In Top Fuel, Todd took the top spot with a run of 3.758 seconds at 324.83 mph.

“Our run was pretty slow early on compared to some better runs we’ve had in the past,” Todd said. “It was charging from half-track on and that’s what it takes. It was pretty tight so it will be pretty interesting come race day.”

Reigning Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher qualified second (3.779 seconds at 325.24 mph) and is going for his fifth career win at The Strip. If he wins, Schumacher would break the current tie he is in with Larry Dixon for most wins at Las Vegas.

Shawn Langdon qualified third (3.782 seconds, 315.93 mph).

In Pro Stock, Line paced his class with a run of 6.606 seconds at 208.75 mph.

“After looking at the run, I’m going to say we could go a bit faster than we went,” Line said. “I always say that there is more left. I’m very excited about tomorrow. We have a great race car and it’s going to get better.”

Defending Pro Stock world champ Erica Enders-Stevens is the provisional No. 2 qualifier (6.617 seconds, 208.94 mph), while Line’s teammate, veteran Greg Anderson, qualified No. 3 (6.621 seconds at 208.81 mph).

The second day of qualifying is Saturday, with sessions of 1:10 pm and 4:05 pm PT. Sunday’s final eliminations begin at 11 am PT.

Results from Friday’s first day of qualifying:

Top Fuel — 1. J.R. Todd, 3.758 seconds, 324.83 mph; 2. Tony Schumacher, 3.779, 325.45; 3. Shawn Langdon, 3.782, 315.93; 4. Steve Torrence, 3.783, 323.89; 5. Richie Crampton, 3.787, 318.02; 6. Doug Kalitta, 3.793, 317.94; 7. Brittany Force, 3.801, 310.77; 8. Dom Lagana, 3.805, 300.66; 9. Dave Connolly, 3.817, 320.66; 10. Clay Millican, 3.847, 315.86; 11. Spencer Massey, 3.867, 316.67; 12. Troy Buff, 3.879, 307.02.  Not Qualified: 13. Terry McMillen, 3.997, 307.51; 14. Steve Faria, 4.166, 217.70; 15. Antron Brown, 4.220, 202.27; 16. Steven Chrisman, 4.353, 214.62; 17. Jenna Haddock, 4.399, 190.40; 18. Larry Dixon, 6.088, 110.86.

Funny Car — 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.007, 318.02; 2. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.014, 315.64; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.020, 313.07; 4. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 4.037, 308.78; 5. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.048, 316.52; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.065, 314.31; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.075, 316.15; 8. John Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.086, 317.19; 9. Chad Head, Camry, 4.090, 303.84; 10. Robert Hight, Chevrolet Camaro, 4.091, 314.97; 11. John Hale, Charger, 4.091, 311.92; 12. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 4.129, 303.98.  Not Qualified: 13. Cruz Pedregon, 4.140, 295.27; 14. Courtney Force, 4.190, 289.57; 15. Jeff Arend, 5.029, 162.35; 16. Gary Densham, 5.388, 137.25.

Pro Stock — 1. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.606, 208.75; 2. Erica Enders-Stevens, Camaro, 6.617, 208.94; 3. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.621, 208.81; 4. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.624, 208.36; 5. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.630, 208.49; 6. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.631, 208.71; 7. Larry Morgan, Camaro, 6.641, 208.30; 8. Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.645, 208.59; 9. Jimmy Alund, Pontiac GXP, 6.647, 210.93; 10. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.651, 208.36; 11. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.682, 207.91; 12. Deric Kramer, Dodge Avenger, 6.691, 206.51.  Not Qualified: 13. Matt Hartford, 6.739, 204.85; 14. Jeff Isbell, 6.869, 196.85; 15. Joey Grose, 8.110, 127.50; 16. Vincent Nobile, 16.668, 40.49; 17. Jonathan Gray, 20.566, 25.71.

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