MATT HAGAN GRABS PROVISIONAL POLE FOR LUCAS OIL NHRA NATIONALS
BRAINERD, Minn., August 19, 2011 – Matt Hagan drove his Freightliner/DieHard Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car onto the provisional pole today following the initial two rounds of qualifying for Sunday’s 30th-annual Lucas Oil NHR Nationals here at Brainerd International Raceway.
If the 4.101-second lap at 303.57 miles per hour from today’s evening sessions remains the quickest after tomorrow’s two rounds, the 28-year-old Christiansburg, Va. native will have his second number-one qualifier of the season (Gainesville) and seventh of his three-year career.
“It feels great putting the Freightliner/DieHard car on the provisional pole,” Hagan told the media after the run. “And it would be wonderful if it sticks as it would show how much Tommy (DeLago, crew chief) is progressing with this combination. This setup has shown lots of promise and Tommy’s improved it with every race.
“I just can’t say enough about the job Tommy and all my guys on the Freightliner/DieHard team have done.”
Hagan led the Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car quartet of drivers into the top half of the field after today’s runs: Ron Capps is third, Johnny Gray sixth and Jack Beckman eighth. Rival Bob Tasca III, meanwhile, sits second, with Robert Hight, fourth, and Tim Wilkerson, rounding out today’s five.
“There are no easy runs, no easy competitors in the Funny Car class,” he said. “We’ve had some unbelievably tight and exciting racing, winning and losing races by thousandths of a second. We know we can’t take anything for granted no matter who we match up against.”