Atlanta: Matt Hagan final report

HAGAN OUSTED BY TEAMMATE BECKMAN IN ATLANTA FIRST ROUND COMMERCE, Ga. (May 16, 2010) - Matt Hagan was defeated by his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at the 30th annual NHRA Southern ...

HAGAN OUSTED BY TEAMMATE BECKMAN IN ATLANTA FIRST ROUND

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 16, 2010) - Matt Hagan was defeated by his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at the 30th annual NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

After qualifying 11th, Hagan found himself matched up against No. 6 qualifier Beckman in their second face-off of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Hagan took off in the lead with a .079 reaction time to Beckman's .107 (.000 is perfect), but the DieHard Dodge Charger soon began to lose traction and cylinders, slowing Hagan to a losing 5.082-second elapsed time at 144.30 mph to Beckman's winning 4.219/299.46.

Hagan fell from second to sixth in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series class point standings.

"The crew chiefs (Tommy DeLago and John Medlen) felt like both lanes were pretty equal," said Hagan, 27, who runs an Angus Cattle farm in Christiansburg, Va. "It's just a discouraging weekend for the DieHard team. We're definitely making headway with this combination (tune-up), but we're going to have to relearn everything.

"Sometimes it's just frustrating and it comes with having to learn something new. But, Tommy and John feel like they made headway today, even though we lost first round. It smoked the tires and put a burst panel out. I probably should have caught it. But you're in race mode and you try to do whatever it takes to get to the other end. You look over and see if you're ahead and you don't know whether to stay in it or pedal it real quick, or what. Obviously, we made the wrong decision and tried to leg it out a little bit and it put a panel out. I don't know with his 4.21 that pedaling would have helped, either.

"I think we'll come right back next weekend and move forward. You have to. Once you get knocked off the horse, and we're definitely knocked off the horse right now, you have to get right back on it.

"It's going to be a real test for these DieHard guys, the crew chiefs and me as a driver to see how fast we can bounce back.

"It's a little discouraging now, but like anything in racing, it's peaks and valleys, and right now were in a little valley and we have to get back on top. We have to get back to putting four solid runs together."

Next up is the 22nd annual NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, Kan., May 21-23.

-source: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jack Beckman , Matt Hagan , John Medlen