By Don Schumacher Racing
Matt Hagan Excited About Returning To Ohio For This Weekend’s NHRA Event
A return to Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park here for this weekend’s fifth-annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals has DieHard Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driver Matt Hagan excited.
The runner-up in last year’s NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car championship likes coming to the Ohio venue for the simple enjoyment of the racing.
“They get great crowds and it’s a great track,” said the 28-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver. “The track’s about six hours from home, so it’s not a tough travel weekend and I can stay home a bit later and get more work done on the farm. I also enjoyed coming here in my Pro Mod days.
“And the way Tommy DeLago (crew chief) has my DieHard Funny Car running, driving this weekend should also be a lot of fun.”
The Christiansburg, Va. cattle farmer put together five solid runs during qualifying and final eliminations of last week’s Bristol race before losing traction and, subsequently, his second-round match with Jeff Arend.
“The car felt good in Bristol and we put on a good show for all my family and friends who came to that race (some two hours from his home),” he said. “I’m feeling really good about how things are going; we just need to take the next step and grab a Wally – and I think we’re really close!”
Hagan started the Bristol race from the second spot, getting down the track in each of the four qualifying sessions, never finishing one below the third position. DeLago overcame the challenges of changing weather and track conditions, as well as a four-hour rain delay, to tune the DieHard machine for a first-round win against Paul Lee.
“I can’t say enough about how Tommy goes after it,” Hagan said. “And I know he will this weekend, which will be great for us and for the fans.”
When qualifying begins, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Hagan will be fifth in the NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings trailing Cruz Pedregon, Robert Hight, DSR teammate Jack Beckman and points leader Robert Hight.