Route 66 Raceway
Early Exit For Matt Hagan At Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Traction issues led to Matt Hagan, driving the Sears Auto Center Home of the DieHard Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, losing his first-round match today during the 14th-annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals here at Route 66 Raceway.
An excess of power on a hot race track produced tire spin, loss of traction and a loss to number-15 qualifier Dale Creasy Jr. Hagan, coming out of the second-starting position, pedaled his Funny Car, but could not catch Creasy. The Don Schumacher Racing machine posted a 4.620 run at 259.91, not quick enough to catch Creasy’s 4.396 at 268.06.
“This car didn’t react the way a number-two qualifier should,” he said. “We should be getting out of the first round. I’m not happy, the crew and Tommy (DeLago, crew chief) are not happy and Don (Schumacher) is not happy.”
Hagan believes a test session Monday should go a long way to helping the team resolve some of its issues.
“We have to focus on one thing – going out and going rounds,” he said. “We’ll test here tomorrow and the weather will be hot and the track will be slippery, which are conditions we need to work on as the season moves into the summer months.”
Remaining positive, despite passing the half-way point of the 22-race 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season without a victory, is key to improving, Hagan believes.
“We can’t walk around with our heads down; we have to keep our confidence. We need to get results out of this test session and apply it to the next few races, which could offer similar, tough conditions.
“I feel Tommy can turn this thing around. He’ll find and pick a setup combination and ‘rub on it.’ I trust him, he trusts me and I’ll stay with him to the bitter end. This is the guy who makes the decisions and we go with them.
“And we have eight wonderful guys working on the DieHard car – the best of the best!”
By:don schumacher racing