HAGAN WINS CHICAGO; SETS NATIONAL RECORD JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2010) - Matt Hagan raced the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car straight into his second winner's circle of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series today at the 13th annual Route...
HAGAN WINS CHICAGO; SETS NATIONAL RECORD
JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2010) - Matt Hagan raced the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car straight into his second winner's circle of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series today at the 13th annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals and set the national elapsed-time record in the process. This was his fourth career final round.
Before a five-hour rain delay, Hagan and the DieHard team poured everything they had into the car's performance, defeating Tony Pedregon with a 4.174/291.32 and Jeff Arend using a 4.219/295.21. When action resumed, the air was cooler and conditions nearly perfect, as Hagan tossed out Ashley Force Hood with the quickest Funny Car run to 1000 feet of 4.022 seconds at 312.71, then backed it up in the final round against Robert Hight recording a 4.035/312.78 to win the event and set a national record. He earned 20 bonus points for that accomplishment. He moved into a tie for third with Ashley Force Hood.
Hight posted a stout 4.069/311.92, but his streak (three straight wins) was snapped by Hagan, who took the victory at the hometown race of his sponsor DieHard and team owner Don Schumacher.
"This was (crew chiefs) Tommy DeLago and John Medlen's race. These guys put a great race car underneath me all weekend long. We've kind of been testing some stuff the last three races. It's been tough because we don't have the testing time to do that. That's why we struggled a little bit. But these guys made a decision together to come back and put back what they knew in the race car and it's just been great ever since.
"After qualifying (No. 3) I came back and I told Tommy that's the race car I'm used to. It's just great to have that confidence again that these guys are going to [get the car to] go down the race track. They sure did it today. It was great to set the national record and win the race. How better of a weekend could you have?
"We're super excited because this is DieHard's headquarters here in Chicago and Don Schumacher's from Chicago. Huge race for us and we sealed the deal. I'm just super excited.
"We have a lot of good people around us with the Matco Tools, Army, NAPA, FRAM and Valvoline [teams]. All these guys are just great. They all helped pitch in. [Before] the last round all those guys were over there and they were really working hard to make sure we got up there and made that round."
Said John Medlen: "Awesome weekend. I had several very moving experiences this weekend, but this probably takes the cake. To be able to win the race with such a great group of guys and set the national record, we couldn't be happier. Plus, we were able to perform when we needed to, and we needed to here in DieHard's home base."
Said Tommy DeLago: "The track finally came around with all the prep that it got from the rain delays and so we kind of had to go back to stuff that we used to use. We ran 4.03 before, we ran 4.04 before. We've had a hot rod when the track has desired it. We've been working on trying to get some more consistency and I think through that we've learned to get a little more consistent and be able to call up the performance when we've needed it. It's only one race, so I guess the jury is still out, but it feels really good."
Next up is the 41st annual NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., June 10-13.