HAGAN PROVISIONAL NO. 1 QUALIFIER ON THURSDAY IN POMONA POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2010) - Every point earned until the end of Sunday's eliminations at the 46th annual NHRA Finals is like gold in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series...
HAGAN PROVISIONAL NO. 1 QUALIFIER ON THURSDAY IN POMONA
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 11, 2010) - Every point earned until the end of Sunday's eliminations at the 46th annual NHRA Finals is like gold in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship chase. And class points leader Matt Hagan collected three valuable qualifying bonus points today in the first round of qualifying, while his antagonist for the crown, second-place John Force, earned none.
Hagan qualified the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car in No. 1, posting a 4.139-second lap at 293.86 mph in the single qualifying run scheduled today. Force came in fourth, with a 4.170/297.68, garnering no bonus points.
Entering tomorrow's single qualifying round, Hagan is now 40 points ahead of Force in the championship. Two more rounds on Saturday will determine the 16-car field for Sunday's eliminations.
"That's huge," said Hagan. "That sounds great right now, but we have a lot of racing left and a lot of qualifying left. Anything can happen with these cars. I'm just proud of (crew chief) Tommy DeLago and the DieHard guys. They're doing a great job of putting the car together well. We go up there and the thing fires up every time, so that's a plus.
"The DieHard Charger is running good, and I'm just happy to be out there driving it. I was watching everybody make their runs (and) not a lot of cars were sticking out there. I had a lot more confidence when Jack (Beckman) went that 4.14. I knew that our car was capable of running that or a little better .
"I just double-checked with Tommy over the radio and I said, Hey, man, do you feel good? And he said, 'I feel great.' He was up there backing some stuff down. And I think we went up there to run an .0 and as we went through it you could see him turning stuff down and calming it down. He did everything right.
"We have a lot more qualifying left and I doubt that it will stick for No. 1. We'll just have to go back up there and still be aggressive and try to pick up every little point we can."