Topeka: Matt Hagan final report

HAGAN FELLED BY FORCE IN TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (May 23, 2010) - Matt Hagan's first-round match-up against 14-time Funny Car champion and No. 6 qualifier John Force did not go as planned for the driver of the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car. Hagan,...

HAGAN FELLED BY FORCE IN TOPEKA

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 23, 2010) - Matt Hagan's first-round match-up against 14-time Funny Car champion and No. 6 qualifier John Force did not go as planned for the driver of the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car. Hagan, who qualified No. 11, was outrun by the class points leader with a 4.144-second pass at 307.09 mph to Hagan's solid but losing 4.166/300.66. Margin of victory: .0409 of a second.

On a day that surprised everyone by dawning with cloudy skies and cooler temperatures than expected, the first round saw a string of 4.1-second laps, and Hagan's was the eighth quickest of them all. But it wasn't enough to hold off Force.

"That definitely is nothing we should hang our heads about," said Hagan, the 27-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va., who leaves Topeka sixth in the point standings. "You want to win every round, and when you don't it hurts inside. And I know it hurts my crew chiefs (Tommy DeLago and John Medlen) and it hurts all the DieHard guys working on the car.

"On the flip side, we've made huge improvements from our last race. The DieHard car is going down the race track now and that's very exciting to me because we've been testing a lot of stuff and we just had to relearn a lot. The crew chiefs are creeping up on it.

"You have to get up to race John Force. He's a good racer and he's got a fast race car. We knew we had a tough competitor beside us. Our crew chiefs stepped up to the plate and we put up a very respectable number on the board. It just wasn't good enough today.

"I know they'll figure it out and be ready to roll up front at the next race." Next up is the 13th annual United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill., June 4-6."

-source: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Matt Hagan , John Medlen