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  • Writer's pictureNick Cavanaugh @Car_Sick_Nick

Hagan Loses in Quarterfinals at NHRA Gatornationals

Chad Green advances with the win

Matt Hagan, the four-time NHRA World Funny Car champion, aimed to secure his third straight Gatornationals victory on Sunday. Despite qualifying fourth in the 16-car field, Hagan showed his strength in the opening round by clocking the lowest elapsed time of the round at 3.869 while defeating Daniel Wilkerson in the TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat.

In an unexpected turn of events, Hagan smoked the tires at the beginning of the quarter finals. As a result, Chad Green seized the opportunity and emerged victorious, advancing to the next round.

“That is obviously not the way we want to start the season and the Gatornationals, as the defending event winner the last two years,” said Hagan. “But that is drag racing and the sport will humble you. We have to keep things in perspective. No one in the trailer was expecting the car to knock the tires off when I hit the throttle. Sometimes these things happen, and you go back to the drawing board. We were trying to be aggressive, and I think it was too much for what the track was going to handle. It’s hard for me to be upset with anyone when we’re trying to run hard, aggressive and fast. As bad as it is, you just move onto Pomona. That’s comforting knowing we have a lot of runs and races ahead of us. We’re still in a bit of a test mode ironing some things out. We’ll just keep moving forward now.” said Hagan.

For the NHRA Winternationals, nitro qualifying rounds kick off on Friday, March 22, at 5 p.m. PDT, setting the stage for an adrenaline-fueled weekend. Keep the excitement going on Saturday, March 23, with two more qualifying rounds at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. PDT. And don't forget to mark your calendars for Sunday's final eliminations at 11 a.m. PDT, where the fastest and fiercest competitors will battle it out for victory.

Nick Cavanaugh | @Car_Sick_Nick | All Roads Lead to The Motor City


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