HAGAN OUT IN BRAINERD FIRST ROUND, STILL HAS CHANCE TO MOVE INTO TOP 10 BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 16, 2009) - Despite his first-round loss to Cruz Pedregon today at the 28th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, Matt Hagan still...
HAGAN OUT IN BRAINERD FIRST ROUND, STILL HAS CHANCE TO MOVE INTO TOP 10
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 16, 2009) - Despite his first-round loss to Cruz Pedregon today at the 28th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, Matt Hagan still stands a good chance of moving into the top 10 in the next two events before the Countdown to 1 playoffs begin following the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day weekend.
Hagan, driver of the shelor.com Dodge Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, was off to a stellar start in his first-round match-up against Pedregon after launching first at the starting lights (.097 reaction time to .101). He held the lead through 330 feet of the 1000-foot race track, but loss of traction slowed him to a 5.510/14.16 pass to Pedregon's winning 4.134/300.66.
Pedregon went on to be defeated in the second round by his brother Tony, which kept him in tenth in points, 30 markers ahead of Hagan, in 11th. No. 9 in points Mike Neff also lost in the first round, while Robert Hight, in 12th, failed to qualify.
Current points for those drivers fighting for a spot in the top 10 are:
9. Mike Neff, 778
10. Cruz Pedregon, 768
11. Matt Hagan, 738
12. Robert Hight, 698
"It was certainly disappointing to lose that first round," said Hagan. "But we're still in the hunt for a spot in the top 10, so that's good. I know that (crew chief) Tommy DeLago and the shelor.com crew will never give up and will do their best to get us back in the top 10."
Said DeLago, "We were ahead by six thousandths. That's what we were trying to do. We knew that left lane probably wasn't quite as good as the right lane, but we didn't have lane choice. Once we lost the first qualifying run this weekend (in which Hagan shut off early because of tire spin), we were a run behind. So, we had to go up there and take a swing and try to run 4.12 or 4.11. Didn't know if the lane would handle it, but we had to try. It was close, but it didn't make it.
"It's not over," he added of the team's quest to claim a top-10 spot in the Countdown. "We don't give up, by any means."