2013 NHRA: Matt Hagan AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals Event Recap: Second Round
Matt Hagan is a motivator when it comes to his Mopar/Rocky Boots Funny Car team and that's the role he takes when things don't go as planned on the dragstrip.
Unfortunately, Hagan had to take that role a little earlier than expected on
Sunday during the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis.
For the second consecutive NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event Hagan lost in the second round to Don Schumacher Racing teammate and reigning world champion Jack Beckman.
But he isn't going to let it get to him.
"You just have to stay positive," Hagan said. "We have worked hard to get here and we are going to continue to work hard. We've just made a couple mistakes here and there and it has cost us. We'll nip that stuff in the bud, stay positive and move forward.
"It's tough racing DSR teammates because you know they are going to go down the track and give you a run and that's what Beckman has done the past two times we've raced them. They're the world champions right now and they want to stay the champions but we want to take that from them too."
Hagan took a 57-point lead into Sunday's eliminations but will leave with only a six-point lead over John Force, who beat Beckman in the championship round.
"We're all bunched up now. That's fine. That's exciting," Hagan said. "I've said since we started this Countdown that I'm not feeling pressure. And I'm not. We know what we have to go out there and do and that's that.
"We'll just keep moving forward and that starts with focusing on going to Reading (Pa.) and figuring out what we need to do there."
The following are Hagan's results and updated standings from the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park:
Event winner: John Force (John Force Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Matt Hagan, 4.001 sec., 320.20 mph (track record time, speed)
MATT HAGAN, Mopar/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying position: No. 1
First round: HAGAN (4.074, 314.53) def. D. Wilkerson (7.000, 93.71)
Second round: Beckman (4.088, 308.64) def. HAGAN (4.187, 304.53)
First session: 4.112 sec., 301.43 mph
Second session: 4.001, 320.20
Third session: 5.362, 135.69
Final session: 4.092, 315.64
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(Unofficial through Sept. 29 through St. Louis qualifying; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. MATT HAGAN 2,336
2. John Force 2,330 (-6)
3. JACK BECKMAN 2,292 (-44)
4. Robert Hight 2,288 (-52)
5. Cruz Pedrgon 2,253 (-83)
6. Ron Capps 2,225 (-111)
7. Courtney Force 2,202 (-134)
8. JOHNNy GRAY 2,187 (-149)
9. Tim Wilkerson 2,142 (-194)
9t. Del Worsham 2,142 (-194)
2013 REGULAR SEASON WINNERS: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon, GRAY, GRAY, HAGAN, J. Force, C. Force, HAGAN, GRAY, C. Pedregon, CAPPS, HAGAN, CAPPS, Hight.
2013 COUNTDOWN WINNERS: Hight, C. Pedregon. J. Force
(Times are ET)
Sunday: 8:30 p.m. (ET), championship eliminations, delayed