Charlotte: Matt Hagan final report

HAGAN SETTLES FOR FOURTH AT INAUGURAL FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS CONCORD, N.C. (March 29, 2010) - Matt Hagan was a fourth-place finisher in the final round of the Inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway today, losing to winner John Force,...

HAGAN SETTLES FOR FOURTH AT INAUGURAL FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS

CONCORD, N.C. (March 29, 2010) - Matt Hagan was a fourth-place finisher in the final round of the Inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway today, losing to winner John Force, his daughter Ashley Force Hood and his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.

Driving the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car, Hagan came back from a spectacular explosion he experienced on Saturday during the third qualifying round to advance to the final round. En route, he defeated Robert Hight, Jeff Arend, Paul Lee and Cruz Pedregon, but entered the money round without lane choice.

He launched with an excellent reaction time of .082 (.000 is perfect), but tire shake ended his day, as he crossed the line with a 6.736-second elapsed time at 105.27 mph to Force's winning 4.036/316.23. He moved into fourth in the point standings. (His other opponents’ numbers were 4.042/316.38 for Force Hood and 4.088/306.33 for Capps.)

"I think we had a good race car this weekend," said the 27-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va. "We had a few mishaps out there in qualifying, but that was behind us. We really wanted to go out there and finish strong. I know anybody could have won it out of those four, and when you have that opportunity you just hate to pass it up.

"This DieHard car is going to get some wins this year, I can feel it. It's going to happen soon enough. As long as we're patient enough and persistent enough it's going to happen for us.

"The DieHard guys did an awesome job this weekend putting that car back together. It looked like someone took a grenade and threw it in that car. I'm just really excited to have these guys working on the race car; I feel very comfortable with them. They're just a great group of guys. We're all growing together.

"There was so much glue out there on the race track that I didn't hardly get any smoke from my burnout. I can understand why it shook the tires out there. It's too glued in. I think we make just as much horsepower as anybody out there and when it sticks the tire that hard it's hard to go down.

"That No. 2 lane has always been the lane of choice for us and we only got over there a couple of times this weekend. So, I think if we had had our druthers we'd definitely wanted to be in the No. 2 lane. It just seems to be a little better.

"I'm glad this four-wide racing is over. I'm not looking forward to doing it again. But we'll race wherever they let us race. So that's what we're gong to do."

Next up is the 23rd annual NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, April 9-11.

-source: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Ashley Force , Paul Lee , Jeff Arend , Don Schumacher , Robert Hight , Matt Hagan