A SECOND TEXAS WIN ON HAGAN'S HIT LIST CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (Sept. 22, 2010) - Matt Hagan, the 27-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Virginia, has demonstrated that youth and exuberance are not only assets when baling hay and herding cows on his...
A SECOND TEXAS WIN ON HAGAN'S HIT LIST
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (Sept. 22, 2010) - Matt Hagan, the 27-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Virginia, has demonstrated that youth and exuberance are not only assets when baling hay and herding cows on his 500-acre farm, but on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series circuit as well. He hopes this edge will help him win his second race in Texas at this weekend’s 25th annual NHRA Fall Nationals in Ennis (south of Dallas). He claimed his first career NHRA Funny Car victory in Houston earlier this year.
Driving the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing in only his second full season, Hagan has been a fierce competitor in the class. He's third in the point standings after winning twice in as many final rounds, set a national elapsed-time record (4.022 seconds) and was low qualifier three times. He's determined to move himself up in the standings and earn his first championship as the series heads to Ennis, Texas, this weekend for the third event of six in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
"I wish we had done better at the last race," said Hagan, who exited in the quarterfinals in Concord, N.C., last Sunday but has yet to lose in the first round all season, having advanced to six semifinals and two finals this year. "We have a good race car in the DieHard Dodge and we have a good shot at winning the championship. But like Tommy (DeLago, crew chief) said, we have to take it one round at a time.
"You can see that the pressure of the playoffs is starting to eat at some people. I think that the biggest thing we can do for ourselves is just take a deep breath and let it all out and just go racing and have fun.
"Whether you admit that it weighs on you or not, it's going to weigh on you to some extent, so we just want to do the best job we can and not leave anything on the table.
"We have a really good chance to move up in the standings this weekend. We've been fortunate enough to not go out first round after qualifying pretty well most of the time (in top half in 14 of 19 events this year). We're still here, we're still head-hunters out there and we're trying to get it done."