Englishtown: Matt Hagan final report

HAGAN OUSTED BY WORSHAM IN FIRST ROUND IN E-TOWN ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 14, 2009) - Matt Hagan looked like he was heading towards victory against Del Worsham when he launched with an outstanding reaction time of .080 (.000 is perfect) to ...

HAGAN OUSTED BY WORSHAM IN FIRST ROUND IN E-TOWN

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 14, 2009) - Matt Hagan looked like he was heading towards victory against Del Worsham when he launched with an outstanding reaction time of .080 (.000 is perfect) to Worsham's .094 in the first round of Funny Car eliminations at the NHRA SuperNationals today. Both cars struck the tires, but a small explosion in Hagan's Freightliner Trucks Dodge Funny Car slowed him even more, relegating him to second with a 4.852-second elapsed time at 175.55 mph to Worsham's winning 4.378/245.05.

"I left really good off the tree," said Hagan, an NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year contender. "That's great for me because I know Del is a great leaver and a great driver. I've been working on my lights and Tommy (DeLago, crew chief) has been helping by trying to bring the car around to me. I'm getting more and more confident about leaving the starting line and getting more comfortable with the car.

"We really haven't figured out what happened on that run. I looked over and Del wasn't there and the car was like nosing over. But, on race day, you have to keep your foot in it and try to get the win light. It just got to the point where the fire was getting pretty bad and I had to pull my foot out of it.

"I saw Del in the other lane and I heard him pedaling it a little bit and then he got the win light.

"We're thinking that some rods broke, but we're not sure," added the 26-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va. "The Freightliner Dodge crew is still looking through a lot of the data to figure out what caused the problem and make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We're really on a bad streak right now and we have to do something to change our luck and change things around. I'm very, very confident in this Don Schumacher Racing team and this whole organization. We have good guys and a smart crew chief and a lot of great knowledge around us. I know that these guys are going to turn it around for us.

"We have 10 days off before the next race in Norwalk, Ohio, so hopefully everybody can gather their thoughts and get a good rest and come back out there real strong.

"It was great representing Freightliner Trucks this weekend. The design on the car was very dramatic. It would have been nice to have given them a victory."

Hagan is now 10th in the point standings, just 81 markers out of fifth place.

Next up is the NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, June 26-28.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Don Schumacher , Matt Hagan