ROOKIE FRONTRUNNER HAGAN HITS VEGAS STRIP FOR FIRST TIME LAS VEGAS (April 1, 2009) - Other than that day a couple of years ago when he was signed off by fellow Funny Car racer Tim Wilkerson to receive his pro Funny Car license, Matt Hagan has...
ROOKIE FRONTRUNNER HAGAN HITS VEGAS STRIP FOR FIRST TIME
LAS VEGAS (April 1, 2009) - Other than that day a couple of years ago when he was signed off by fellow Funny Car racer Tim Wilkerson to receive his pro Funny Car license, Matt Hagan has not run down The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a national event.
This weekend he'll drive the Shelor.com Dodge Funny Car for the first time in pro NHRA Full Throttle competition at this famed facility just north of the other Strip, in the heart of Las Vegas.
It's the fifth event of the year and he's already proven to be a viable candidate for NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year honors after collecting four round wins, including a semifinal finish in Gainesville, Fla., in the first four events. Hagan's right in the mix in the point standings, holding on to seventh place and not far out of reach of the top spot (84 markers behind).
"I'm a little bit familiar with the track because of the licensing procedure," said Hagan, "but that was a long time ago, so I'm going to need a refresher on the track. I'm going to check it all out and even walk down it so I can get a good handle on it.
"I'm excited about going to Vegas, if only because we have a really good car underneath us, and we have a really good team put together. I am so proud of crew chief Tommy DeLago and all the Shelor.com Dodge guys. They're working hard and the car is going up there and making every round. That says a lot out here when there is such a short time between rounds to get the car ready for the next.
"I still feel like we're a rookie team with a rookie-caliber driver, but I think we're right there where we need to be. We just need to stay the course and hopefully improve every weekend and do well for our sponsors."