Reading: Matt Hagan Saturday notes

HAGAN QUALIFIES NO. 9 IN READING READING, Pa. (Aug. 22, 2009) - Matt Hagan, a contender for the 2009 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award as an NHRA rookie-of-the-year frontrunner, qualified the shelor.com Dodge ...

HAGAN QUALIFIES NO. 9 IN READING

READING, Pa. (Aug. 22, 2009) - Matt Hagan, a contender for the 2009 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award as an NHRA rookie-of-the-year frontrunner, qualified the shelor.com Dodge Funny Car No. 9 today at the 25th annual NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, outside of Reading, Pa.

Only two rounds of qualifying were held in two days, as rain and water seepage on the track surface caused delays in the action. Hagan recorded his quickest pass of 4.167 seconds at 292.14 mph in Friday's single round, which placed him No. 6 at the time. Today's run produced a 4.182/291.95, which landed him in ninth place.

Hagan will face 14-time champion John Force in the opening round of Sunday's eliminations, becoming the 123rd different driver to face Force in eliminations rounds in his career.

"I would have loved to have improved on today's pass," said Hagan, 26, who runs his family's Angus Cattle farm in Christiansburg, Va., "but unfortunately we spun the tires. We overpowered the track a little bit at the top end. Even though it went down the track, there's still lots of room for improvement.

"I know Tommy (DeLago, crew chief) found some areas where I know we can improve on in the morning. I feel pretty confident and I'm really excited to run John Force tomorrow. It will be the first time for me. I have a lot of respect for the guy, but we also have to make sure that we beat him tomorrow. It's a huge race for us. We have to capitalize on winning this thing and going rounds tomorrow." Hagan is aiming to move into No. 10 in the point standings from No. 11 in order to compete in the Countdown to 1 playoffs, which begin following this event and the next one in Indianapolis.

"I know we have a good race car we qualified well, and we're going to go out there and have a good race."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Matt Hagan