HAGAN BUMPED OUT BY TEAMMATE BECKMAN IN SEATTLE FIRST ROUND KENT, Wash. (July 19, 2009) - After earning his second straight No. 3 spot in qualifying for an NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series national event, Matt Hagan drew his Don Schumacher...
HAGAN BUMPED OUT BY TEAMMATE BECKMAN IN SEATTLE FIRST ROUND
KENT, Wash. (July 19, 2009) - After earning his second straight No. 3 spot in qualifying for an NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series national event, Matt Hagan drew his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman in the opening round of Funny Car eliminations at the NHRA Northwest Nationals.
Beckman, who had qualified 14th, was relegated to the less-favorable left lane, while Hagan was hoping to continue enjoying a strong performance from the shelor.com Dodge Funny Car.
After a lengthy delay due to at least one oildown in the pairings racing before him, Hagan aced Beckman at the starting lights with a .105 reaction time (.000 is perfect) to Beckman's .149. But it wasn't enough to overcome a loss of traction at about 600 feet (of a 1000-foot race track). Beckman also struck the tires, but crossed the finish line first in 4.605 seconds at 241.67 mph while Hagan followed with a 6.052/88.10.
"We sat for a really long time out there," said Hagan. "There were a few people blowing up and oiling down. It appeared that right after Tony (Pedregon) oiled down the track, Mike Neff had a problem in that right lane. So, it wasn't a surprise that we also smoked the tires pretty hard in that lane. Beckman lost traction too, but he caught his and pedaled it and he went to the next round.
"It's unfortunate, because I felt really good about my reaction time, which I have been working on," added the 26-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va., who slipped to 10th in the point standings.
"I hadn't smoked the tires in a long time and it just happened so quickly. We have to do something to change our luck around and make things happen for ourselves and make improvements.
"Rookies have got to pay their dues and I think we're paying a lot of them. Hopefully the back side of this season is going to be a lot better for us. All we can do is hope."
Next up is the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., July 24-26.