Topeka: Matt Hagan Saturday report

HAGAN IS NO. 11 IN TOPEKA QUALIFYING TOPEKA, Kan. (May 22, 2010) - Matt Hagan drove the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car into the 11th starting position during qualifying for the 22nd annual NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. He will...

HAGAN IS NO. 11 IN TOPEKA QUALIFYING

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 22, 2010) - Matt Hagan drove the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car into the 11th starting position during qualifying for the 22nd annual NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. He will face 14-time Funny Car champion John Force in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.

After a bizarre glitch which caused his parachutes to open prematurely in his first qualifying effort on Friday (4.317/250.64), Hagan piloted the DieHard car to a trio of consistent passes of 4.200/297.61, 4.224/296.44 and 4.229/297.81.

"We have a really consistent race car," said the 27-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va. "It went .22 both rounds today. I think it's a great start for a race day setup for tomorrow.

"We have John Force in the opening round. I'd rather have John than one of my Don Schumacher Racing teammates (Ron Capps and Jack Beckman). So the plan is to take him out first and then move on.

"John's a terrific guy. I'm really going to enjoy running him tomorrow. He's a first-class competitor and they have a great car over there. We have a great car too, so it's going to be a good race.

"It's tough to start from the bottom half. But something we can look at as a positive is that both of these lanes are pretty equal out there, so I don't think there's going to be any disadvantage.

"We just have to go up there and be consistent all day long. It's not always about being the fastest. It's about being the most consistent and putting four runs together on Sunday. And I think Tommy and John (crew chiefs DeLago and Medlen) can do that, and I look forward to going all four rounds tomorrow.

-source: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Jack Beckman , Don Schumacher , Matt Hagan