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Jul 07, 2014 - 04:04 PM
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2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Event Recap: Second Round
Posted by: newsla on Jul 07, 2014 - 04:00 PM
2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Event Recap: Second Round

Matt Hagan was ready for Sunday's NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series eliminations at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.


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After qualifying fourth for final NHRA eliminations, the Rocky Boots team led by crew chief Dickie Venables posted low elapsed time of the first round of eliminations and their second quickest time of the weekend, 4.059 seconds at 316 mph, to defeat Jeff Arend in the opening round.

Then Matt was paired against Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the next round. Capps was one of three DSR teammates that Hagan defeated en route to the event title last weekend near Chicago.

But Matt was apparently too ready and left the starting line before the green light activated and his time of 4.112 seconds was disallowed and Capps' slower elapsed time of 4.130 seconds got the round win after Hagan fouled at the start.

"Man, that's a tough one to swallow," said Hagan after the disappointing loss. "As a driver, that's something you never want to do. You never want to be the one to let your team down.

"I was just ready to go. I'm not sure what I was thinking. I didn't think it was a long tree but I just left. I feel sorry for all of our guys but we need to move on from this and keep our heads up, especially me."

The silver lining in a disappointing day is that the Rocky Boots/Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T is making consistently quick runs. Throughout their six runs this weekend, the Rocky Boots team clocked all six between 4.04 and 4.15 seconds.

"Early in the season we struggled with consistency but it seems that we've turned the corner on that and that's huge. I'm so proud of each and every one of these guys, especially Dickie and Mike (Knudsen, assistant crew chief) for all of their hard work."

The Rocky Boots team will journey back to Don Schumacher Racing headquarters in Brownsburg, Ind., for a weekend off before heading on the Western Swing that begins in Denver on July 18 followed by stops in Sonoma, Calif., and near Seattle.

"Our team will go back to the shop, get everything ready for the Western Swing and go from there. It's important that we go rounds and keep moving up in the points standings."

The Rocky Boots team remains eighth in NHRA Funny Car standings after 13 of 24 NHRA Mello Yello series events.

Event Winner: John Force (John Force Racing)
No. 1 Qualifier: Del Worsham (Kalitta Motorsports) 4.000 seconds*, 321.42 mph (* track record)

MATT HAGAN, Rocky Boots/Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T
Qualifying Position: No. 4
FIRST ROUND: HAGAN (4.059, 316.90) def. Jeff Arend (11.685, 70.73)
SECOND ROUND: Capps (4.130, 309.42) def. HAGAN (red light)
FRIDAY: 4.158 sec., 302.31 mph, 4.044, 318.69 (Session 2)
SATURDAY: 4.068, 315.64, (Session 3); 4.080, 301.40, (Session 4)

(Unofficial after 13 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)

driver (wins) pts behind
1. Robert Hight (4) 1,067 ----
2. John Force (2) 889 -178
3. RON CAPPS (1) 846 -221
4. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 845 -222
5. Alexis DeJoria (2) 779 -288
6. Courtney Force (1) 764 -303
7. Del Worsham 748 -319
8. MATT HAGAN (1) 739 -328
9. Cruz Pedregon (1) 726 -341
10. JACK BECKMAN 655 -412

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