BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots team have every intention of beginning the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season the same way they ended the 2013 season - with a win.

Matt Hagan
Matt Hagan

Photo by: Todd Steitle

Their win at the NHRA Finals at Pomona, Calif., in November was their fifth of the 2013 season, the most in the nitro Funny Car class. They also set the NHRA speed record at 320.66 mph en route to the win.

"2013 was a great year of us," said Hagan. "We won more races than anybody (in Funny Car) and finished really strong with a win at Pomona in the end. We're going to go out there to Pomona with the same set up we had there last year. It's proven and we know it works."

High speeds during preseason testing

Three weeks prior to the NHRA season opener, Hagan and many other teams headed south for preseason testing. After a rough start for many teams, crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Mike Knudsen produced a 321.81 mph pass to put an exclamation mark on their week in South Florida.

"Dickie and Mike made some serious horsepower down there. 321 is getting it done," Hagan said. "It was a great way to put our test session to an end after a struggle most of the week. That gave us a boost of confidence before the guys went back to Indy to finish prepping for Pomona."

Mopar Express Lane adorns Hagan's 10,000-horsepower Dodge Charger R/T\

Longtime Don Schumacher Racing partner Mopar chose the Express Lane colors to adorn Hagan's Funny Car in 2014. The yellow and blue scheme has an old school look and Hagan is anxious to get it to Pomona and show it off.

"When they sent me the pictures of the Express Lane car, I got even more excited to get back in the car. It looks great, looks fast. I love the old school feeling it has. I hope Dickie and the guys get to have a lot of pictures of it in the Winner's Circle."

Rocky Boots will also return to Hagan's 10,000-horsepower Dodge Charger R/T in 2014. The matte red and black Funny Car will make its debut in Houston in April.

Matt Hagan