HAGAN FALLS IN ST. LOUIS OPENING ROUND MADISON, Ill. (May 2, 2010) - After a tough qualifying effort at this weekend's 14th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, in which he fought to qualify No. 12, and without lane ...
HAGAN FALLS IN ST. LOUIS OPENING ROUND
MADISON, Ill. (May 2, 2010) - After a tough qualifying effort at this weekend's 14th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, in which he fought to qualify No. 12, and without lane choice, Matt Hagan fell in the opening round to Del Worsham.
Driving the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, Hagan had the edge at the starting lights (.077 to .082) but was soon in trouble, as he tried valiantly to recover from a loss of traction. He whipped the car in every direction, but avoided the wall for which it appeared he was aiming. He crossed the finish line in 6.539 seconds at 122.40 mph, while Worsham, who also struck the tires, recovered first to take the win with a 5.202/205.16.
"It kind of went out there, shook the tires, I stepped off the pedal, and stepped back on the pedal," he said. "It smoked the tires and got me all kind of crossed up. I got off the pedal again and then got it straightened out. I saw Del smoke the tires and I tried to get back on the pedal, and it smoked the tires again.
"A very, very disappointing run all together. I know we're better than we're showing out here. I know that we'll get our stuff together and show what we can really do.
"Everybody in that right lane struggled early on, it seemed," added the 27-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va., "but that's why we have to qualify well. It's our own fault. We have to go out there and make it happen in qualifying. We were actually testing a lot of new DSR stuff this weekend, and it helped us, but it was so discouraging to not qualify in the top half and go out early.
"We have to get back to the basics. (Crew chiefs) Tommy (DeLago) and John (Medlen) are both smart - we have plenty of brain power over here - so I'm not worried. I'm just upset right now."
Hagan remains second in the point standings, 151 points behind John Force and one marker ahead of his teammate and today's runner-up, Jack Beckman.
Next up is the 30th annual NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga., May 14-16.