Commerce: Matt Hagan Saturday summary

FUNNY CAR ROOKIE HAGAN GRABS NO. 5 IN ATLANTA QUALIFYING COMMERCE, Ga. (April 18, 2009) - NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year frontrunner Matt Hagan drove the Shelor.com Dodge Funny Car into the No 5 spot in qualifying for the NHRA Southern Nationals today...

FUNNY CAR ROOKIE HAGAN GRABS NO. 5 IN ATLANTA QUALIFYING

COMMERCE, Ga. (April 18, 2009) - NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year frontrunner Matt Hagan drove the Shelor.com Dodge Funny Car into the No 5 spot in qualifying for the NHRA Southern Nationals today and will face Cruz Pedregon in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.

Hagan's quickest pass of 4.114 seconds at 303.84 mph came in the second session on Friday, which was preceded by a 4.253/260.26 (No. 7) and followed by a tire-smoking 7.159/89.88 (No. 4) and 5.060/149.00 today (No. 5).

"We have some new stuff on the car that we're trying to figure out," said the 26-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va. "But we've been more concerned about the rollout here. It seems like everybody's lights (reaction times) are a little bit off in qualifying, but a lot of people don't really go after lights. I know I've been trying to go after lights a little bit, and it's not been productive this weekend for me.

"I'm a little concerned with that going into tomorrow, but I'm going to get a good night's rest and hopefully be on top of my game. We just have to go down the race track. That's what we've been struggling a little bit with this weekend. Hopefully Tommy (DeLago, crew chief) can get a handle on it and we can do well tomorrow.

"I think we were right there on the edge this weekend," added Hagan, No. 2 in the point standings. "We were making plenty of power based on what we see on the computer. It's like we're walking on a razor blade right now. You have to go out there and find that fine line and that's what we've been doing. Tommy's been testing the limits to see where he can go and where he can't go right now.

"It's one of those things where you have to go too far to a point so you know where you have to back up to for race day."

The Shelor.com team was named Best Appearing Crew this weekend by the NHRA.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hagan