Denver: Matt Hagan final report

HAGAN LANDS IN HIS FIFTH SEMIFINAL OF 2010 IN DENVER MORRISON, Colo. (July 25, 2010) - Matt Hagan continues to check off those semifinal-round finishes in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, making it five following this weekend's ...

HAGAN LANDS IN HIS FIFTH SEMIFINAL OF 2010 IN DENVER

MORRISON, Colo. (July 25, 2010) - Matt Hagan continues to check off those semifinal-round finishes in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, making it five following this weekend's Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.

What he really wants is to win his third national event of the season and enter the Countdown to 1 playoffs at least in third place. He regained that spot today when he defeated his teammate Jack Beckman in the quarterfinal (4.276/289.69 to 4.336/285.53) after dismissing Jack Wyatt in the opening stanza (4.231/294.18 to 4.598/259.96).

In the semifinal, he faced eventual event winner Robert Hight. Driving the special Mopar Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car body this weekend, also sporting the DieHard colors with which he usually races, Hagan took off in the lead (.079 to .082 reaction time), but was passed by Hight at around the 660-foot mark, losing to the John Force Racing driver by seven feet (.0166 of a second). It was close: 4.218/296.50 for Hight; 4.237/290.51 for Hagan.

Mathematically, it is possible for the 27-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va., to move into second place after the next event in Brainerd, Minn. Following that race, the Countdown to 1 playoffs begin for the top 10 in the final six events of the year. Realistically, with Robert Hight's victory here today, his 115-point deficit would be difficult to overcome.

"We had a good day; we just got beat," said Hagan. "If we're going to get beat I'd like to get beat that way. I don't want to get beat, period, but it's a lot better than smoking the tires.

"We went down the race track. (Crew chief) Tommy DeLago gave me a good car; Hight's team just stepped up a little bit more.

"We have nothing to hang our heads about this weekend. I'm glad we got our third spot back (which he had given up in Seattle, the first race of the Western Swing - Seattle, Sonoma, Calif., Denver). That's our spot. We're going to keep it.

"We have a good team, good car, and our driver is coming around. It will be OK. We have two weeks off. I know it's going to eat these DieHard Dodge guys a little bit, but it will give them a little bit more to drive for. They'll come out here hungry again. I'm looking forward to it."

The next event is the 29th annual NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 12-15.

-source: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Jack Beckman , Jack Wyatt , Robert Hight , Matt Hagan