Magneti Marelli Mopar Master!

No. 1 qualifier Matt Hagan took the “Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar” Dodge Charger R/T to victory circle during NHRA’s Toyota Summernationals held last weekend.   The event which was held at fabled Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in New Jersey also featured Professional class wins by Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Michael Ray (Pro Stock Motorcycle).  New York’s Mike Janis earned a win in the event’s added attraction Pro Mod Drag Racing Series feature….

For Hagan, it was the second time this season he has won  by beating his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman in the final elimination round. This was the third Mopar versus Mopar Funny Car showdown in the finals this season, all of which involved Hagan who now has a total of four championship round appearances in nine races thus far in the NHRA Mello Yello series season.

Matt Hagan's Magneti Marelli Mopar has moved into NHRA's Mello Yello Drag Racing Series points lead.

Matt Hagan’s Magneti Marelli Mopar has moved into NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series points lead.

“That’s our fourth final of the year and it’s still a young season,” said Hagan who won the 2011 NHRA Funny Car Championship but then had a difficult 2012 season without a victory and narrowly missed the playoffs. “All of these guys didn’t know if they’d have jobs this year. They toughed it out. To come back and be this strong blows me away. It’s just an awesome feeling to see those win lights turn on every time. It’s something that you can’t buy out here.”

“Everyone at Mopar would like to congratulate Matt Hagan on earning his second Wally of the year with his Summernationals title win,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “It’s great to see all the hard work that Matt and the Don Schumacher Racing team have put in be rewarded with having the ‘Magneti Marelli Quality Auto Parts Offered by Mopar’ branded Dodge Charger R/T  in the winner’s circle again.”


Hagan began the weekend by earning the No. 1 qualifying position, his second of the year, on the strength of a 4.050-second pass at 315.64 mph in the Friday night session at the Englishtown facility, a run that ended up being the quickest Funny Car pass of this year’s edition of the Summernationals after no one was able to beat it in the heat of the day in the final two qualifying sessions.

Hagan went on to post his seventh career victory by beating two of his DSR teammates in the elimination rounds. He scored a second round holeshot win over Johnny Gray, who had won the previous two national events and has three wins on the season. Hagan then put in a final round performance of 4.112 seconds at 308.00 mph to beat Jack Beckman’s 4.182 second pass at 303.98 mph and earn his first title win at Englishtown.

With the victory Hagan retakes the points lead from his DSR teammate Gray, who slips to second in the championship standings. Hagan initially had the lead after his first win of season at the Four-Wide Nationals. In a very tight Funny Car championship points battle, all four Mopars are currently in the top-five at the half way point of the regular season with Ron Capps in fourth place and Beckman breaking into fifth spot with his runner-up finish this weekend.

Shawn Langdon raced to his third Top Fuel victory of the season.

Langdon powered his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to his first Englishtown win with a performance of 3.853 seconds at 316.38 mph to hold off his Al-Anabi Racing teammate Khalid alBalooshi, who ran at 3.869 seconds at 297.29 mph in the final round. This was the first time the two Al-Anabi drivers raced in the final round. With the victory, Langdon takes the points lead away from U.S. Army dragster driver Tony Schumacher.

The Top Fuel final was an Al-Anabi Racing team affair.

The Top Fuel final was an Al-Anabi Racing team affair.

“From the first round to the final, we’ve made some really strong runs,” said Langdon of his second consecutive victory. “The run wasn’t quite as fast as we were wanting it to be. But  the first Al-Anabi Racing team final between alBalooshi and me is a great way to end it.”

In Pro Stock, Edwards powered his Interstate Batteries/I Am Second Chevy Camaro to his third victory of the season by defeating defending world champion Allen Johnson.

Mike Edwards was convincing again while winning in Pro Stock car.

Mike Edwards was convincing again while winning in Pro Stock car.

“The whole weekend was phenomenal,” said Edwards of his second career win at Englishtown. “I think we’ve saved the best for last. Hats off to all my guys. It feels good to run good and win. Hopefully, we just keep it up.”

Edwards covered the distance in 6.589 seconds at 210.21 mph to defeat Johnson’s Team Mopar Dodge Avenger, which ran 6.641 at 209.95 in the final round. With the victory, his 37th of his career, Edwards retains the series points lead.

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Ray claimed his first NHRA national event win of the season and second of his career on his Team Soverign-Star Racing Buell with a holeshot victory over Lucas Oil Buell rider Hector Arana Sr. Ray’s performance of 6.954 seconds at 193.49 mph defeated Arana Sr.’s run at 6.952 seconds at 191.02 mph in the final round.

“To me the biggest thing to win was to get the [George Bryce] team back to the winner’s circle since 2008,” Ray said. “This is a dream come true. It’s a true statement to how we’re going to run in the coming months. We’re trying to get that Mello Yello championship.”

Western New York’s Mike Janis raced to his first win in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series – marking a great debut for his significant new sponsor.

Janis, from Lancaster, N.Y., powered his now Valvoline-backed supercharged 2013 Chevy Camaro to the win over defending Pro Mod world champion Troy Coughlin in the final round.

Janis covered the distance in 6.035 seconds at 240.51 mph to take his first career win in the 250-mph doorslammer category, while defending Englishtown winner Coughlin clocked a 6.060 second pass at 244.12 mph for the runner-up finish in his turbocharged Chevy Corvette.

Mike Janis had a terrific debut race for his new sponsor Valvoline

Mike Janis had a terrific debut race for his new sponsor Valvoline

Janis, who was runner-up at Englishtown in 2011, advanced to his fourth career final round by outrunning Coughlin, Mike Knowles and Chip King in the first three rounds.

With the victory, Janis moves to fourth place in the series standings. Canadian Kenny Lang maintained the series points lead despite losing in the second round to King. Coughlin moved up to second in the standings with his runner-up finish.

Canada's Mark Martino and his newly sponsored car was a welcome return entry in Pro Stock.

Canada’s Mark Martino and his newly sponsored car was a welcome return entry in Pro Stock.


Event Essentials:  44th Toyota Summernationals  –  May 30th – June 2nd 2013 – Englishtown NJ 

TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Shawn Langdon 3.853 316.38 3rd
R/UP: Kahalid alBalooshi 3.869 297.29  
Low ET: Clay Millican 3.792    
Top Speed: Kahalid alBalooshi   322.58  
Bump Spot:   3.978    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Matt Hagan 4.112 308.00 7th
R/UP: Jack Beckman 4.182 303.98  
Low ET: Matt Hagan 4.050    
Top Speed: Matt Hagan   315.64  
Bump Spot:   4.359    
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Mike Edwards 6.589 210.21 37th
R/UP: Allen Johnson 6.641 209.95  
Low ET: Mike Edwards 6.545    
Top Speed: Shane Gray   211.76  
Bump Spot:   6.569    
Winner: Michael Ray 6.954 193.94 1st
R/UP: Hector Arana 6.952 191.02  
Low ET: Steve Johnson 6.931    
Top Speed: Jim Underdahl   194.30  
Bump Spot:   7.056    
Winner: Mike Janis 6.035 240.51  
R/UP: Troy Coughlin 6.060 244.12  
Low ET: Danny Rowe 5.926    
Top Speed: Danny Rowe   247.57  
Bump Spot:   N/A    15 cars
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Winners: Name ET MPH  
Top Sportsman Marco Abruzzi 6.830 194.18  
11.50 Index David Harvey Jr 11.48 111.41  
Competition Sal Biondo 8.326 139.41  
Super Stock Lincoln Morehead 10.27 126.61  
Stock Don Pires Jr. 11.58 107.25  
Super Comp Steve Sisko 8.919 160.04  
Super Gas Tom Goldman 9.998 152.04  

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler, Dave DeAngelis & Steve Embling


Biondo & Morehead Lead Sportsman Winners

Sal Biondo and Lincoln Morehead each picked up big wins this past weekend at the Toyota NHRA Summernationals in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

Biondo, Maspeth, N.Y., earned his 16th national event win and his tenth in Comp Eliminator taking out Calvin Hill running 8.326 seconds at 139.41 mph in his ’11 Cavalier.  Hill clocked in at 8.507, 134.39 and had the early lead before Biondo came around him for the win.

Three time NHRA division champion Lincoln Morehead collected his eighth win in the Super Stock category beating former 2011 Stock national champion Joe Santangelo III.  Morehead was better off the line and held on to win with a lap of 10.278 at 126.61 to Santangelo’s 10.500, 125.47.


Super Stock winner Lincoln Morehead

Super Stock winner Lincoln Morehead

The annual Northeast event produced a pair of first time winners as Steve Sisko, Atco, N.J., and Tom Goldman, Allentown, Pa., each picked up their first NHRA Wally trophies in Super Comp and Super Gas respectively.  Sisko and Mike Robilotto were close at the start but Sisko was a little better at the strip running 8.919 seconds at 160.04 in his ’10 dragster.  Goldman had a big advantage at the start and held on for the win over Ralph Musi covering the quarter-mile in 9.998, 152.04 in his ’58 Corvette.

In Top Sportsman, Marco Abruzzi, Warren, Ohio, ran right on his dial with a 6.830 second lap at 194.18 mph to defeat Ronald Riegel, Fairless Hills, Pa., and Donald Pires, Somerset, Mass., went seven rounds for the Stock championship. The win was the second for both drivers at the national level.  Pires beat the quicker Sterling Simmons, combining a 0.027 second reaction time with a run of 11.586 on his 11.52 dial.

Top Sportsman class cars ran for the first time ever at the Englishtown Nationals --Marco Abruzzi emerged on top.

Top Sportsman class cars ran for the first time ever at the Englishtown Nationals –Marco Abruzzi emerged on top.

In a special 11.50 Index 8-car shootout, David Harvey Jr. drove his Plymouth Valiant to the win against Bob Sanders and his Monte Carlo.  Harvey went 11.487, 111.41 to Sanders’ 11.466, 110.85 in a double break-out.

Filed with posts from Pat Caporali, NHRA Communications, Eric Lotz & Bruce Biegler

To view DragRaceCanada’s event photo galley click:  HERE