2013 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway Event Recap: Second Round
Matt Hagan's Mopar/Rocky Boots Funny Car got bit on Sunday during the 29th annual NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series eliminations at Maple Grove Raceway.
Hagan's Dodge Charger R/T had been the picture of consistency throughout four rounds of qualifying and also in the first round of eliminations at the picturesque facility near Reading, Pa.
After posting a 4.100-second lap for the opening round win against Tony Pedregon, Hagan was paired against Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the second round of eliminations in 80-degree weather.
Crew chief Dickie Venables and Hagan knew it would be a tough race against fellow DSR crew chief Rahn Tobler.
"It was just a tricky race track out there today," Hagan said. "A lot of teams were smoking the tires first round and second round. When you run a car like (Ron) Capps you have to be aggressive and it just happened that (Rahn) Tobler made his best run of the weekend against us. He seems to do that a lot. We can't take them lightly and we weren't. We were trying to go up there and run a good number and try to get lane choice for the semifinals.
"It just didn't work out. We smoked the tires. It's just one of those deals. That's the hand we were dealt this weekend and we'll move on to Vegas. We have two weeks off for everyone to regroup and rethink everything. Sometimes when you roll the dice you crap out and other times you get lucky."
Hagan remains ranked No. 2 in points and is now 65 points behind event winner John Force.
"It's just one of those deals. We just have to keep working hard and this team always works hard. No matter what happens on race day it isn't for a lack of effort. I'm still proud of every one of my guys. These boys are working really hard to keep things moving forward and that's what we'll do going into Vegas."
The following are Hagan's results and other event notes from the 29th annual NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Event Winner: John Force (John Force Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: John Force (3.987 sec., 323.50 mph)
MATT HAGAN, Mopar/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 4
First round: HAGAN (4.100, 317.05) def. T. Pedregon (5.736, 122.53)
Second round: Capps (4.095, 314.68) def. HAGAN (5.751, 129.99)
First session: 4.123 sec., 303.84 mph
Second session: 4.035, 319.45
Third session: 4.090, 311.05
Final session: 4.103, 314.39
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
(Unofficial through Oct. 5 qualifying at Maple Grove Raceway; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. John Force 2,457 (---)
2. MATT HAGAN 2,392 (-65)
3. JACK BECKMAN 2,331 (-126)
4. Robert Hight 2,323 (-134)
5. Cruz Pedregon 2,307 (-150)
6. RON CAPPS 2,297 (-160)
7. Courtney Force 2,266 (-191)
8. JOHNNY GRAY 2,223 (-234)
9. Del Worsham 2,214 (-234)
10. Tim Wilkerson 2,175 (-282)
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 (Charlotte), C. Pedregon (Dallas), J. Force (St. Louis), Force (Reading).
Sunday: 12:30 a.m. (ET), qualifying, ESPN2, delayed; 7:30 p.m. (ET), championship eliminations