Matt Hagan Sonoma Saturday Report

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Matt Hagan Snares Seventh Qualifying Spot For Fram/Autolite NHRA Nationals

When Matt Hagan fires up the DieHard Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for the first round of the 24th-annual FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals here Sunday at Infineon Raceway he will not be thinking about the driver in the other lane.

A 4.121-second, 302.96-mile-per-hour run in Friday’s second session earned the 28-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver a first-round match, which is set for an 11 a.m. PT start, with 10th-qualifier Cruz Pedregon, who sits immediately ahead of Hagan in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings.

Matt Hagan, Diehard Dodge Charger
Matt Hagan, Diehard Dodge Charger

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

“I won’t be thinking about anything other than getting down the track,” said Hagan. “I can’t worry or be concerned about Cruz or whoever is in the other lane, regardless of the circumstances. I have to race the track and do my job.

“We made four solid runs in qualifying (4.151, 4.161 and 4.261 in the other three rounds) and Tommy (DeLago, crew chief) continues to give me a race car which can get down the track; we just have to keep this up tomorrow and throughout the rest of the season.

“The way we’ve been running just helps build confidence, not just for me, but for everyone on the DieHard team.”

The upswing in the team’s mood began with the Joliet, Ill. race and continued through last week’s final-round appearance in Denver.

“We brought out some different stuff for Chicago and began to turn things around,” said last year’s runner up in the Funny Car championship chase. “We’re feeling good, feeling positive. We’re going to go out tomorrow and have some fun racing!”

By: don schumacher racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon , Don Schumacher , Matt Hagan
Tags don schumacher, funny car, hagan, infinenon raceway, nhra, sears point, sonoma