Denver: Matt Hagan Saturday report

HAGAN TAKES NO. 1 IN DENVER QUALIFYING MORRISON, Colo. (July 24, 2010) - Matt Hagan pulled out a pole-position-securing run in the final round of qualifying for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, knocking 14-time champion ...

HAGAN TAKES NO. 1 IN DENVER QUALIFYING

MORRISON, Colo. (July 24, 2010) - Matt Hagan pulled out a pole-position-securing run in the final round of qualifying for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, knocking 14-time champion John Force off the top spot.

Racing the special Mopar-bodied Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car (his usual mount is the DieHard Dodge), Hagan collected his second No. 1 of the season, the fourth of his career, and his first at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals.

His 4.161-second run at 301.33 mph eclipsed Force's 4.191/296.76, set on Friday night under the lights. Today's final session was held under a cloud cover on a 90-degree track surface.

On Friday, Hagan posted a tire-smoking 6.445/102.72 (No. 11) and a 4.242/285.59 (No. 6). Today's earlier pass produced a 4.275/288.21, the third quickest pass of that round, which was good for No. 6 at the time.

"We just have a really great race car," said Hagan, No. 4 in the points rankings entering the event and two-time winner so far this year. "(Crew chief) Tommy DeLago is doing such a good job. And we're reaping the benefits from these crew guys. I can't talk enough about them. They've had a flawless year this year. It goes up there every time and starts and, knock on wood, we haven't had any problems. Our guys have really come full circle this year for us compared to where they were last year.

"Tommy basically said, 'Look, kid. Hang on to it; you never know what's going to happen up there.' He said he was going to get after it and he did.

"It went out there and [the clutch] tried to get one-to-one and when it did that it just took off. All I could do is keep it in the groove and hang on to it until the win light came on.

"We should have been in the last two finals also," he said of his semifinal finishes at the last two events in Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. "Woulda, coulda, shoulda, but didn't. We're just kind of creeping up on it and having fun along with it.

"With this being the Mopar Mile-High Nationals and having us No.1 in Funny car and Allen Johnson No. 1 in Pro Stock, how does it get any better as far as qualifying goes? Obviously tomorrow we have to go out and win the race. I know Don (Schumacher, team owner) is excited about it, and we're excited.

"No. 1 kind of comes with a bad omen, so I'd like to have been 2 or 3, to be honest with you. It's nice to be No. 1, [but] sometimes that seems to bite you on race day."

Hagan faces No. 16 qualifier Jack Wyatt in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.

-source: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Allen Johnson , Jack Wyatt , Matt Hagan