Side By Side Boomers – Robert Hight and Matt Hagan Suffer Simultaneous Explosions at Gatornationals!
There has been no shortage of carnage in the Funny Car in this young season, and the ...
There has been no shortage of carnage in the Funny Car in this young season, and the pile of demolished bodies and detonated engine parts grew by two in this insane second round matchup. Vying for a berth in the semifinals of the 49th annual NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, Robert Hight lined up along side Matt Hagan under the blistering Florida sun.
Both cars left cleanly and were on a great side-by-side pass when things took a nasty turn on the top end. Hight’s Auto Club of Southern California Camaro was trailing Hagan’s MOPAR Charger by the slightest of margins when his engine exploded in a spectacular fireball, sending his body flying apart in the fourth major explosion for a John Force Racing funny car this year.
Within a blink of an eye, Hagan’s Car also detonated the powerplant, also sending his body flying high into the air. The NHRA/FS1 cameras were in perfect position as always and caught the spectacular moment in full glorious high definition.
Both cars remained upright and both drivers did an excellent job of keeping them under control. Hight did veer into Hagan’s lane behind him due to the force of the explosion, but quickly gathered it up and returned to his lane while Hagan’s car remained squarely in his lane. Hagan’s car likely remained under control due to the nose of his car remaining intact and keeping the nose glued to the track. Both drivers brought their cars to a halt and climbed out under their own power with no visible injuries.
Hagan won the round and was able to make it back for the semifinals, where he would take out Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps to earn a trip to the finals, which he lost to his other DSR Funny Car teammates, Jack Beckman.