ROOKIE HAGAN GRABS NO. 10 IN TOPEKA QUALIFYING TOPEKA, Kan. (May 30, 2009) - NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year contender Matt Hagan joined a group of NHRA Funny Car veterans who struggled to qualify for this weekend's NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland...
ROOKIE HAGAN GRABS NO. 10 IN TOPEKA QUALIFYING
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 30, 2009) - NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year contender Matt Hagan joined a group of NHRA Funny Car veterans who struggled to qualify for this weekend's NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka because of the hot conditions.
Hagan's quickest lap of 4.237 seconds at 277.20 mph came in Friday night's cooler second session, which placed him ninth at the time. His other laps were a 5.974/112.39 in the first round (No. 12), followed by today's 7.601/82.52 (No. 10) and 5.103/154.76.
He will face his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.
"It's definitely been a tough weekend," said the 26-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Virginia, "but if you look at everybody's results in Top Fuel and Funny Car you'll see that just about nobody was getting down the track. There's a few that squeaked through, but most everybody was having some real troubles out there.
"The track temperatures are 135-140 degrees. It's hot enough to cook an egg out there on the starting line. You can imagine trying to apply that much horsepower (7000-9000) and trying to run down the track.
"Basically, these crews chiefs are going to have to bring it to their knees and take a lot of timing out of these cars to try to get them to go down the track.
"They'll have to figure that out. I just get strapped in and drive. I try not to worry about it too much and I know that (crew chief) Tommy (DeLago) is going to make good decisions tomorrow.
"We have Ron Capps first round. We'll get up for him. He and Ace (Capps' crew chief Ed McCulloch) are both very god competitors, but I feel like my lights (reaction times) have been pretty consistent all weekend. If I can make them a little bit better for race day, I think we'll be just fine."