Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
Matt Hagan To Come Out Of 12th Starting Spot For NHRA Supernationals
Matt Hagan drove the DieHard Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car into the 12th starting position for Sunday’s final eliminations of the 42nd annual NHRA SuperNationals here at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
The 28-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver used his third-round run of 4.142 seconds at 299.86 miles per hour to secure a first-round match with John Force, who needed a 4.107 lap in the final round to make the field.
“Obviously, you can’t take John or his team lightly,” said Hagan, who finished runner up last year to Force in the Funny Car championship. “I’ll bring my A game, Tommy (DeLago, crew chief) will bring his A game, as will their team, and we’ll have fun racing.”
The DieHard team, like many of the Funny Car teams, had issues getting down the track during Friday’s two qualifying runs. Hagan turned in laps of 6.979 and 4.300, ending the night in the 12th starting spot.
The third-round run moved him into ninth, but a 6.519 final lap allowed several drivers to go around him.
“It’s a bit frustrating,” said Hagan. “We need to put some wins on the board and they will come, I’m sure. Tommy hasn’t forgotten how to tune a car and I haven’t forgotten how to drive.
“We’ve been trying some new things, and just haven’t hit our stride, yet. We will.”
Hagan, who is a fulltime cattle farmer in his native Christiansburg, Va., when not racing, came into the weekend fifth in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings. He trails Mike Neff, DSR teammate Jack Beckman, Robert Hight and Cruz Pedregon (respectively).