Denver: Matt Hagan Saturday notes

HAGAN LANDS IN THIRD IN DENVER QUALIFYING MORRISON, Colo. (July 11, 2009) - NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year contender Matt Hagan drove a brand-new red shelor.com Dodge Funny Car into No. 3 in qualifying for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere ...

HAGAN LANDS IN THIRD IN DENVER QUALIFYING

MORRISON, Colo. (July 11, 2009) - NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year contender Matt Hagan drove a brand-new red shelor.com Dodge Funny Car into No. 3 in qualifying for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway today.

Hagan, a 26-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va., posted his quickest lap of 4.152 seconds at 297.68 mph in the final round of qualifying, placing him temporarily in the No. 2 spot until Tony Pedregon's 4.135/294.50 dropped him into third.

Driving a lighter front-halved chassis out of the Don Schumacher Racing shop in Brownsburg, Ind., Hagan struggled in the earlier laps, producing a 8.268/83.85 (No. 12), a 8.205/84.10 (No. 12) and a 4.272/285.05 (No. 12).

"I'm really happy with that," said Hagan. "We finally got this shelor.com car running well again. Having lane choice tomorrow is going to be huge for us.

"I wish we could have stayed second, but Tony Pedregon always seems to slide in there and take our gusto from us. That's drag racing. We're having fun with it. Tommy' (DeLago, crew chief) is doing a really good job. I'm trying to get used to this track and the altitude, and it's a little slick out there, but it's coming right around for us.

"The car is 30 pounds lighter. Tommy and all the guys have been back at the shop making huge improvements on trying to shed weight wherever they could, and it looks we're finally going to be at (minimum) weight, and that's big for us.

"We have the Gates decal on the side of the car this weekend to show our appreciation for the Denver-based company that has supported DSR for so long. This is their hometown, so we definitely want to to do well for them.

"We'll get a good night's race, wake up in the morning and see what happens."

Hagan faces Grant Downing in the first round of Sunday's eliminations.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Don Schumacher , Grant Downing , Matt Hagan