ROOKIE HAGAN CLAIMS NO. 9 IN NORWALK QUALIFYING NORWALK, Ohio (June 27, 2009) - Matt Hagan drove the Shelor.com Dodge Funny Car into No. 9 in qualifying for the NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsport Park in Norwalk, Ohio. The...
ROOKIE HAGAN CLAIMS NO. 9 IN NORWALK QUALIFYING
NORWALK, Ohio (June 27, 2009) - Matt Hagan drove the Shelor.com Dodge Funny Car into No. 9 in qualifying for the NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsport Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
The NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year contender's quickest lap of 4.266 seconds at 275.28 mph came in the cooler Friday evening session. His first pass that day of 4.457/248.61 placed him third at the time, but he fell to ninth in the second round as other teams improved even more.
His two passes today resulted in a 6.975/93.64 (No. 9) and a solid 4.313/270.16 on a hot track surface, the second quickest of that round.
"It wasn't too bad for the heat of the day," said the 26-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va. "We obviously would have liked to have done better, but it started spinning the tires pretty hard at the top end. I think that it's going to be what it's going to be, even on race day. I don't know if we can tame it down any more at the top end.
"We're trying to run as hard as we can down low, but right now just getting down the track is an accomplishment with this heat.
"Overall, it's been a pretty good weekend," he added. "I've been trying to cut some good lights (reaction times) up there. For some reason, I think everybody's lights here are a little bit off, looking at the timing sheets. So, I think we're right where we need to be. We just have to go up there tomorrow and go down the race track.
"We can't go up there and try to run a killer number because I don't think the track is going to handle it. Even in the first round (when it's cooler) it's going to be tough to get down.
"I think you're going to see a lot of people smoke the tires and pedal their cars. I think it's going to be a driver's race this weekend.
"I think the lanes are pretty equal," added Hagan, who doesn't have lane choice over Bob Tasca III in the opening round of eliminations. "The right lane seems to be a little bumpier, but hopefully we'll be going down both of them tomorrow."