Matt Hagan Joliet Saturday Report

Route 66 Raceway

Matt Hagan Qualifies Second For Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Aboard the Sears Auto Center Home of the DieHard Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, Matt Hagan grabbed the second-starting position for Sunday’s 14th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals here at Route 66 Raceway.

Matt Hagan
Matt Hagan

Photo by: Ted Rossino

The 28-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver’s 4.114-second, 296.18-mile-per-hour lap in Friday’s second-qualifying session propelled him into a first-round match Sunday against 15th-qualifier Dale Creasy Jr.

Weather – midday heat – could introduce a new factor for Sunday’s eliminations, which begin at 11 a.m. CT, but Hagan’s concerns are tempered by success during qualifying.

“Tommy DeLago (crew chief) got this hot rod down the track three times, including in the heat of Friday and Saturday afternoons,” said the defending event champion. “It may be a bit hotter tomorrow then it was Friday, but it was very hot (track temperatures exceeded 130 degrees) and we put up some good numbers (4.320 at 243.19 and 4.225 at 284.03, second-best of the first and third rounds).

“Remember, everyone has to deal with the same conditions, with the same limited data.”

Hagan, who came into the weekend fifth in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings, is excited about both the qualifying results and final-eliminations prospects due to a change in his ride.

“We brought out last-year’s car for this race and we made three solid runs during qualifying,” said the Christiansburg, Va. native. “We still need more runs with this race car, but we are definitely going in the right direction.

“We won three races and finished second in the championship last year with this car, so I’m really excited about driving it again – and making our first appearance of 2011 in the winner’s circle with it.”

By: don schumacher racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Dale Creasy Jr. , Don Schumacher , Matt Hagan
Tags chicago, don schumacher, funny car, joliet, matt hagan, nhra, route 66 raceway