HAGAN GRABS NO. 4 IN POMONA QUALIFYING POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2009) - Matt Hagan pulled out a stunning 4.076-second lap at 277.72 mph in the final of four qualifying sessions for the 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals to qualify No. 5 in the ...
HAGAN GRABS NO. 4 IN POMONA QUALIFYING
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2009) - Matt Hagan pulled out a stunning 4.076-second lap at 277.72 mph in the final of four qualifying sessions for the 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals to qualify No. 5 in the Funny Car field for Sunday's eliminations.
The only problem was he shut it off early, aborting a run that might have been good enough to qualify the Valvoline Engine Guarantee/Mail Terminal Services Dodge in No. 1. His other attempts this week included an 8.786/75.41 (DNQ), a 4.107/304.94 (No. 5), and a 4.476/196.04 (No. 6).
"We had a great race car that lap," said a disappointed Hagan, a contender for the 2009 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award as an NHRA rookie-of-the-year frontrunner. "In life you have to take credit for things you do well and you have to take the blame for things that you don't do so well. And that was one of my not-so-fine moments in racing.
"That run was probably going to be low for the weekend. I could have run 4.02 or 4.03, and to run an .07 clicking it off and only running 277 mph tells you we were on a killer pass. Well, at least it moved us up in the field.
"It's so disappointing to me to end it that way, and I can't really explain why it happened. You're hunting around and it's dark out there. I was in there fighting the car and I was trying to pick up where I was on the race track and I made a judgment call and I pulled my foot out of it early.
"You drive by feel out there with these things a lot of times, and sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don't."
Hagan will face Tony Pedregon in the first round of Sunday's eliminations, aiming to win his first national event of his rookie year before the season comes to an end.