HAGAN LANDS IN BRISTOL QUARTERFINALS BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 20, 2010) - Matt Hagan held on to his No. 3 position in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car class point standings, after advancing to the quarterfinal round of the...
HAGAN LANDS IN BRISTOL QUARTERFINALS
BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 20, 2010) - Matt Hagan held on to his No. 3 position in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car class point standings, after advancing to the quarterfinal round of the 10th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway today.
Racing the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, Hagan also made up ground in the rankings on Robert Hight, who was ousted in the opening round. Hight had entered the event in the points lead, but relinquished it to his team owner John Force, who advanced to the final. Hagan is now just 68 markers short of overtaking Hight for second place.
No. 3 qualifier Hagan made it into the quarterfinal after dismissing Jeff Arend on a 120-degree race track in a close first-round match-up, in which Hagan posted a winning 4.270-second lap at 285.17 mph to Arend's 4.291/282.48.
By the second round, track temperatures had risen to 137 degrees and Hagan found himself without lane choice over 14-time champion John Force. They launched with nearly identical reaction times (.056 for Hagan, .055 for Force - .000 is perfect), but a lost cylinder at the finish line slowed Hagan to a 4.356/274.83 to Force's winning 4.290/291.19.
"It was obvious all weekend that the right lane was better," said Hagan, who was racing in front of a large hometown crowd that traveled to the event in a Greyhound bus from Christiansburg, Va. "It's real bumpy in the left lane, and it tries to unload the tires. We had to slow the car down a little bit to try to get down that lane.
"The crew chiefs (Tommy DeLago and John Medlen) did a good job and we went down the track. Force and I left identically, and we had the same 60-foot increments; we just got outrun a little bit. It put a cylinder out and the car just slowed.
"I'm really proud of Tommy and John. We just have to keep the ball rolling. I feel more comfortable in the car, and things are going well. We'll just keep trying to go rounds, and the more rounds we go the better we'll secure ourselves in the Countdown." There are five more races before the Countdown to 1 playoffs kick in for the top 10 in points in the final six events.
Next up is the fourth annual NHRA Nationals at Norwalk, Ohio, June 25-27.