Charlotte: Matt Hagan preview

ROOKIE HAGAN AIMS FOR VICTORY IN CONCORD CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (Sept. 1, 2009) - Matt Hagan, a contender for the 2009 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award as an NHRA rookie-of-the-year frontrunner, missed a spot in the...

ROOKIE HAGAN AIMS FOR VICTORY IN CONCORD

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (Sept. 1, 2009) - Matt Hagan, a contender for the 2009 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award as an NHRA rookie-of-the-year frontrunner, missed a spot in the Countdown to 1 playoffs which begin for the top 10 in points at this weekend's NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, N.C. But his ambition to win his first national event in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series has not diminished one iota.

Ending the regular 18-event season in 12th in the standings driving the Valvoline Engine Guarantee/shelor.com Dodge Funny Car has not dampened the 26-year-old Angus Cattle farmer's determination to take home a winner's trophy before his rookie season is over.

"I'm very, very disappointed about not being in the Countdown, but my main goal all year was to win a race," said the affable Hagan, whose wife Rachel is expecting their second child any day. "Obviously, winning a championship would have been spectacular, if I had had the chance to fight for it, but I want to win races and earn my first Wally (event championship trophy named after NHRA's founder Wally Parks).

"We also wanted to qualify at every race, and so far we've done that. I just want to start focusing on the positive; it's so easy to focus on the negative.

"We have a good team and a good car," added Hagan, who was runner-up and low qualifier once each this season. "We just didn't show it this year and I think that maybe we can come on strong at the end of the year and improve our skills and look forward to next year."

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hagan