Video: Matt Hagan Rides Out Old-School Funny Car Inferno At Pomona

Reigning NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan certainly intended to get off to a hot start at the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona in his defense of his title, but he got more “heat” than he bargained for during Friday’s second session or professional qualifying when his Mopar Ddoge Charger erupted into an old-school Funny Car inferno at the close of a 4.09-second lap.

Hagan’s mount lit up right after the finish line, popping the burst panel and sending flames rolling into the cockpit. The fire only grew from there, and Hagan, whether just in a hurry to get away from the flames or unable to see through the flames — or both —got hard on the binders, hopping and skidding to a stop before quickly climbing from the scorched race car.

haganfire

Like you’d expect of a champion team, the Mopar crew got right to work and had the car back good as new for qualifying on Saturday, and despite starting on raceday from the 12th qualifying position, Hagan wrnt on to win the whole shebang, defeating teammate Ron Capps with a stout 4.01 in the final.

“It says a lot for my team,” said Hagan of his Mopar Express Lane Dodge crew, who stayed at the track into the early Saturday morning hours to replace wiring on the car damaged by flames. “There are not too many jobs where you work all day long and then half the night. I come in late and leave early, and they come in early and leave late. It makes me have so much more respect for them because they have such a passion for this; it’s not just about a paycheck. They do it because they love it and to me that is special because they do whatever it takes to get the job done.

After his victory, Hagan commented, “You try to put it out of your mind and not think about it,” Hagan said. “These [race cars] are animals out there and you never know what you are going to get when you crawl in there to drive one. It’s always an experience. You have to respect it, but you can’t fear it.”

 

About the author

Andrew Wolf

Andrew has been involved in motorsports from a very young age. Over the years, he has photographed several major auto racing events, sports, news journalism, portraiture, and everything in between. After working with the Power Automedia staff for some time on a freelance basis, Andrew joined the team in 2010.
Read My Articles

Drag Racing in your Inbox.

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Dragzine, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes
Dragzine NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

We'll send you the most interesting Dragzine articles, news, car features, and videos every week.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Dragzine NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...



Hot Rods & Muscle Cars

Diesel Army

Engine Tech

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...

  • Hot Rods & Muscle Cars
  • Diesel Army
  • Engine Tech

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Dragzine - Drag Racing Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Loading