MADISON, Ill. (Sept. 30, 2012) – Matt Hagan was trying to make something happen Sunday for the DieHard/Aaron’s Dream Machine Funny Car team.
But he might have tried a little too hard when he left the starting line too early and was disqualified with a red light and lost to Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis.
A week ago, Hagan was runner-up to Bob Tasca III near Dallas.
“I was just antsy,” Hagan said. “We’ve been to a couple of finals now and I was just trying to make something happen.”
Hagan didn’t have an easy road to the final with stout tune-ups by crew chief Tommy DeLago. In recent weeks, the Dodge Charger Funny Car has shown strong performances and today was no different.
After qualifying third, Hagan ousted Jim Head in the first round with a 4.08-second run. Hagan then defeated teammate and Countdown to the Championship points leader Ron Capps in the second round before beating Tim Wilkerson in the semifinals.
“That’s just how it goes,” Hagan said. “Our guys have been working so hard and I’m really proud of how this team has turned our season around lately. I was really just trying to give them a little something to show for it, and I may have tried a little too hard.”
It is Hagan’s fourth final of the season and the seventh consecutive race the team has been to the semifinal or further.
Hagan will have three more opportunities to earn one of the NHRA Full Throttle Wally trophies before the season concludes in November at Pomona, Calif. The reigning Funny Car world champion would like this year’s first title to come next week at Reading, Pa.
“We need to win, we want to win. It’s one of those deals these guys just work so hard and they deserve it.
“We have to get that win before the year is up. The car is running strong. I think that we’ll get it together. I was probably trying just a little too hard up there.”
The following are Hagan’s results and other event notes.
Event winner: Jack Beckman
No. 1 qualifier: Beckman 4.049 sec., 308.85 mph
Matt Hagan, DieHard/Aaron’s Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T
Qualified: No. 3
Round 1: HAGAN (4.086 sec., 304.32 mph) def. Jim Head (DQ, red light)
Semifinals: HAGAN (4.137, 299.46) def. Tim Wilkerson (4.197, 291.14)
Final: Jack Beckman (4.132, 306.53) def. HAGAN (DQ, redlight)
Session 1: 4.141 sec., 293.28 mph
Session 2: 4.061, 305.42
Session 3: 4.132, 291.2
Session 4: 4.115, 300.40
NHRA FULL THROTTLE STANDINGS
After third of six events in the Countdown to the Championship
(Unofficial through Sept. 30, 2012; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. RON CAPPS 2,361
2. JACK BECKMAN 2,331
3. Mike Neff 2,262
4. Cruz Pedregon 2,202
5. Tim Wilkerson 2,197
6. Courtney Force 2,180
7. Robert Hight 2,179
8. JOHNNY GRAY 2,149
9. Jeff Arend 2,148
10. John Force 2,143
11. MATT HAGAN, 1,018
UPCOMING FULL THROTTLE EVENTS
Oct. 4-7, NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa. (Philadelphia area)
Oct. 25-28, Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas
Nov. 8-11, Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif.
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The DieHard brand has continued to lead with innovation by introducing the DieHard Platinum battery in 2007. The DieHard brand's Platinum AGM technology gives it 40% more reserve capacity and 28% more Cold Cranking Amps than comparable spiral-wound AGM batteries. That's one reason why the DieHard Platinum battery has been ranked #1 by a leading consumer publication four years in a row. These are the very same batteries used at the starting line for Top Fuel and Funny Cars at each NHRA National event. For more on DieHard, as well as how to select a battery, visit DieHard.com and follow DieHard on Facebook.
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About Don Schumacher Racing
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered in Brownsburg, Ind., consists of seven professional NHRA teams: in Top Fuel, the U.S. Army dragster driven by seven-time world champion Tony Schumacher, the FRAM/Prestone dragster of Spencer Massey and the Matco Tools dragster of Antron Brown; and in Funny Car, 2011 NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan in the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T, Valvoline NextGen Dodge piloted by Jack Beckman, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Service Central Dodge of Johnny Gray. DSR has won 195 NHRA national event titles and nine world championships.
- DSR -
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