Baytown: Matt Hagan final report

HAGAN FINISHES IN QUARTERFINALS IN HOUSTON BAYTOWN, Texas (March 29, 2009) - NHRA Funny Car rookie Matt Hagan continues to check off round wins as he aims for NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year honors in his first season with Don Schumacher Racing driving...

HAGAN FINISHES IN QUARTERFINALS IN HOUSTON

BAYTOWN, Texas (March 29, 2009) - NHRA Funny Car rookie Matt Hagan continues to check off round wins as he aims for NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year honors in his first season with Don Schumacher Racing driving the Shelor.com Dodge.

Today, at the NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park he made it to the quarterfinals before being defeated by Del Worsham in a pedaling contest under hot and sunny conditions. Worsham took the win with a 4.867-second elapsed time to Hagan's 5.933/124.43.

In the opening round, the rookie frontrunner dismissed Gary Densham with a 4.182/286.86, a victory which ended with a possible fuel pump failure and a lengthy clean-up of the track.

"We had a good day, a good race weekend," said Hagan. "We moved another round ahead of the other two rookies (Shawn Langdon and Spencer Massey in Top Fuel), so that's a real plus. I'm keeping tabs on those guys on how they're doing.

"We qualified well, we went out there and won first round. We didn't have lane choice and we got stuck over in the right lane against Worsham, and that lane's been tricky. And even Del had trouble in the left lane. He smoked the tires a couple of times and it ended up being a pedalfest.

"It went into tire shake pretty early and I thought it might recover, so I didn't pedal. And it smoked the tires and I had to pedal and I saw him smoke the tires. I was off and then back on again and ended up pedaling about three times. It just started getting out of the groove and it reached a point where I realized it was not a good decision to keep going forward. He was a good piece ahead of us, anyway. So, I decided to click it off.

"The track got hot, the conditions weren't favorable for what we were trying to do and we just missed it a little bit."

As for the issue in the first round, "The Shelor.com Dodge was running great. We ran 4.18 that lap but it nosed over and it just came apart at the top end. We think it might have been a fuel pump failure.

"Everyone on the DSR team, especially all the NAPA crew guys, helped us get ready for the next round. That's what got us up there in time and we couldn't have done it without them."

Next up is the NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend, April 3-5.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Gary Densham , Don Schumacher , Matt Hagan , Shawn Langdon , Spencer Massey