Infinenon Raceway Sears Point
Matt Hagan Continues Quest For Victory At Fram/Autolite NHRA Nationals
Matt Hagan, driver of the DieHard Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, heads to Infineon Raceway here this weekend for the 24th-annual FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals looking to break into the winner’s circle for the first time in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season.
Holding a solid fifth place in the Funny Car standings, the 28-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver has been the runner up twice this year, but understandably wants to take home a trophy.
“We’ve been close, just missing first in Pomona and then last week in Denver,” said the Christiansburg, Va. native. “Tommy (DeLago, crew chief) and the Diehard guys gave me a great race car last week, but we just didn’t get it done against Force in the finals.
“The way the car performed all weekend in Denver, maybe the most difficult and challenging track on the circuit just makes me feel even more confident as we wrap up the regular season and get ready for the playoffs.”
Hagan trails Cruz Pedregon by less than three race-round wins for the fourth spot in the Funny Car standings with four races left to set the field for the playoffs (the top 10 drivers compete for the championship with their points reset for the final six races of the season). Last season, his second, Hagan took the fight to the final contest in Pomona (Calif.), finishing as the runner up to John Force, who won his 15th championship.
“Our goals remain winning races for DieHard, for Don Schumacher Racing and for everyone else associated with this team and to win the championship,” he said. “You race to win and even though I know you can’t win every race and lots of things can and do happen in drag racing, I won’t lie and say I’m not disappointed with having come so close, but not getting a win.
“We’ll turn it around and get that Wally; I’m sure.”
Last year here he lost a tight – .011 seconds – semifinal-round race with DSR teammate and eventual winner Ron Capps after having defeated Force and Del Worsham (now points leader in a Top Fuel dragster) in the first two rounds.
“We’d like another crack at John and hope to have the same results as last year,” he said. “But it doesn’t matter who we race – we have to beat whoever is in the next lane to move on.”
By: don schumacher racing