UPDATED WITH PHOTOS: HAGAN TO DEBUT 2019 CHARGER BODY AT MILE-HIGH NATIONALS
Things couldn’t be going much better lately for Matt Hagan.
The two-time NHRA nitro Funny Car world champion has won the last two races on tour in Norwalk, Ohio, and Epping, N.H.
It doesn’t seem like a time to make any changes, but that’s what is going to happen when Hagan competes at the Dodge Mile-High Nationals July 20-22 at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo.
Hagan’s crew chief Dickie Venables told Competition Plus that Hagan’s Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger will debut a new Mopar body at the Mile-High Nationals.
“Any time you come out with something new the idea is for it to be better, aero-wise, design-wise, structurally, and aerodynamically,” Venables said. “Being able to optimize headers for it, the intent is for all that to be better.”
On July 8, NHRA's Technical Department issued the following clarification on headers.
Double-pipe insulated exhaust headers mandatory. Minimum Funny Car header angle 40 degrees, measured in reference to ground and parallel to the center line of the car (X axis). Maximum width of headers: 83 inches. Maximum header height 11.5 inches, measured from the ground to the highest point at the exit of the exhaust. Maximum header pipe O.D. 2.75 inches. O.D. and I.D. must remain constant beginning 8 inches below the header flange to the exit of the header. Centerlines of all four exhaust pipes must be parallel to each other and each pipe must contact adjacent tube.
NHRA confirmed this rule will be enforced beginning at the Mile-High Nationals.
The body Hagan will be unveiling at Bandimere Speedway did go through a test session June 25 in Norwalk, Ohio. Four passes were made during the session.
“It seemed good,” said Venables about how the body reacted in testing. “You can’t tell in one day of testing, but the main thing was to test it structurally and make sure everything was sound in that department. All the bodies now, realistically, whether it is a Toyota, Camaro or whatever you have a box as far to work within as far as rules, and they are all pretty good. So, you are not going to see any huge advantages with a new body design because you can only do so much nowadays.”