MECHANICAL GLITCH HALTS HAGAN IN BRAINERD QUARTERFINAL BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 15, 2010) - No. 2 qualifier Matt Hagan was on a tear in Funny Car final eliminations today at the 29th annual NHRA Nationals, racing the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car...
MECHANICAL GLITCH HALTS HAGAN IN BRAINERD QUARTERFINAL
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 15, 2010) - No. 2 qualifier Matt Hagan was on a tear in Funny Car final eliminations today at the 29th annual NHRA Nationals, racing the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car past Dale Creasy in the opening round while posting the second-quickest pass of the weekend. He then fell to Jim Head when an oddball mechanical glitch surfaced in the quarterfinal round.
After defeating Creasy with a stellar 4.068-second elapsed time, second only to his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman's 4.057 that round, the 27-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va., was rocketing towards another solid victory, when he lost traction at the 200-foot mark, slowing to a losing 5.493-second elapsed time at 152.40 mph to Head's less-than-stellar but winning 4.421/214.86.
Explained crew chief Tommy DeLago: "Basically there's an apparatus that we have on the injector and the throttle cable that limits the RPM in the burnout. It's stuff that's been here at DSR since we've been here and all the cars have them. In a fluky incident, it decided to spin around when the throttle blades were open during the burnout and when Matt shut the blades after the burnout it got wedged in between the injector and the throttle arm. It held the blades open so the idle was really high and made them drag the clutch and get too much heat in it, and that makes it too aggressive and screws everything up."
Said Hagan: "We ran some good numbers this weekend because we had great conditions and the track was good. We had a good run only one time during qualifying, had some issues on my part, and we lost a round because of rain, but stuff happens. And, every now and then you're going to have something mechanically go wrong like what happened today. We had made 300 to 400 laps with that burnout stop and never had a problem. But, for some reason, it wanted to give us a problem today on race day.
"I know these DieHard guys will go back and fix it and make sure it never never happens again and then we're going to move into Indy for the beginning of the Countdown to 1 playoffs. I can't wait to get that started."
Hagan slipped to No. 4 in the point standings when his DSR teammate Jack Beckman advanced to the final round. The Countdown to 1 playoffs begin at the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend for the top 10 in points in the final six events.