Joliet: Matt Hagan final report

HAGAN "TREED" BY HIGHT IN JOLIET FIRST ROUND JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2009) - Driving the FRAM Tough Guard Funny Car, No. 8 qualifier Matt Hagan was stunned by No. 9 Robert Hight's almost-a-red-light .014 reaction time (.000 is perfect) against him...

HAGAN "TREED" BY HIGHT IN JOLIET FIRST ROUND

JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2009) - Driving the FRAM Tough Guard Funny Car, No. 8 qualifier Matt Hagan was stunned by No. 9 Robert Hight's almost-a-red-light .014 reaction time (.000 is perfect) against him in the first round of Funny Car eliminations today at the NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

That and Hight's 4.111-second elapsed time at 303.84 mph was enough to defeat Hagan's weekend-best but losing 4.126/301.27 (.094 reaction time). Hagan maintains No. 7 in the point standings.

"If he did that on purpose, then I'd like to shake his hand," Hagan said with disbelief. "Obviously, congratulations to Robert on that run. I feel like we have a really great car and it's really, really upsetting to lose the ones that are close like that, especially in the first round.

"He took a stab at the light and it turned out to his favor. (Crew chief) Tommy (DeLago) and everyone on this team did what we were supposed to do up there and we just got beat.

"I don't think we could have done anything differently," added Hagan, a Rookie-of-the-Year frontrunner. "Tommy had the car go down the track and we ran a really good number. We ran the best number of the weekend and I had the best light I had all weekend. I've been trying to take stabs at the tree during qualifying. It's one of those things where you just try really hard and it doesn't come out in your favor.

"So, we're heading to Englishtown. I know we're still going to have a very competitive car; we just have to catch a couple of breaks along the way."

Next up is the NHRA Supernationals in Englishtown, N.J., June 12-14.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Robert Hight , Matt Hagan