Sonoma: Matt Hagan Friday notes

HAGAN CLAIMS HIS FIRST FUNNY CAR PROVISIONAL POLE POSITION IN SONOMA SONOMA,Calif. (July 24, 2009) - NHRA Rookie Matt Hagan grabbed the provisional Funny Car pole position in the second round of qualifying for the FRAM-Autolite Nationals,...

HAGAN CLAIMS HIS FIRST FUNNY CAR PROVISIONAL POLE POSITION IN SONOMA

SONOMA,Calif. (July 24, 2009) - NHRA Rookie Matt Hagan grabbed the provisional Funny Car pole position in the second round of qualifying for the FRAM-Autolite Nationals, driving the shelor.com Dodge.

Under near perfect conditions on a stellar track surface, Hagan pulled out a steady, straight run of 4.068 seconds at a top speed 307.51 mph, the quickest and fastest run of his career, to claim his first provisional No. 1. In today's first pass, he was No. 4 with a 4.213/287.78.

Two more rounds of qualifying on Saturday will determine the 16-car field for Sunday's eliminations.

"It was just a great run at this great track," said the 26-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va. "These fans out here got a great show today, with cars going down the race track. We're excited to do that. Don Schumacher puts all the right stuff underneath us to make us go out there and do that.

"And it says a lot for our team, being a rookie team and being able to come out here and do that, in just great weather conditions. It was just something that needed to come together for us, for our morale, for our team. We've been kind of in a little bit of a slump right now and that really gets the guys' heads up and it really puts them in a positive attitude out here."

As for the strong head winds tonight, "It goes to show [how good] our R&D program [is]. Don Schumacher is...putting in a lot of money into our R&D, and even with that strong head wind out here, as you noticed, a lot of these Schumacher cars are running strong. And it just goes to show you what we can do with the right program and just a little bit of luck out there.

"It set me back in the seat and started sparking the flywheel real hard out there and I was, like, Whoa, what's that? and then the clutch went one to one and it felt like it took off again. I knew it was on a killer run. I was just trying to keep up with the car out there, it's dark a little bit, so [I was] trying to keep it in the groove and make sure I didn't drive it out of there and smoke the tires and let everybody down.

"A little nerve-wracking not knowing what to do when it's sparking that bad inside and I said, Well, I'm just going to keep my foot in it. I'll say 'sorry' later if I did something wrong. It was a good deal."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Don Schumacher , Matt Hagan