Phoenix: Matt Hagan preview

WITH OPENER BEHIND HIM, ROOKIE HAGAN TARGETS PHOENIX SUCCESS CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (Feb. 17, 2009) - Matt Hagan, vying for Rookie-of-the-Year honors in the 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series driving the BrakeSafe Rear-End Collision Avoidance ...

WITH OPENER BEHIND HIM, ROOKIE HAGAN TARGETS PHOENIX SUCCESS

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (Feb. 17, 2009) - Matt Hagan, vying for Rookie-of-the-Year honors in the 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series driving the BrakeSafe Rear-End Collision Avoidance System Dodge Funny Car, is glad to have the season-opening event (two weekends ago in Pomona, Calif.) over. He can now focus on the remainder of the year, beginning with this weekend's NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway, south of Phoenix, as he continues to get his rookie legs under him.

"The first thing I really wanted to accomplish was getting the first race behind me," said Hagan, the 26-year-old Angus Cattle-farm manager. "Even though we only had one qualifying run in Pomona (Calif., because of rain) and ran only one round of eliminations on Sunday, the first-race jitters are gone and we can now move forward.

"You want to take every race extremely seriously and make sure you deal with every aspect, but you also sometimes have races where the weather is bad and everything else is not lining up the way it needs to be. But, you just have to get in there and do what you're supposed to do and make sure you still have a good race car underneath you. And we do.

"I can't wait to race again this weekend," added Hagan. "We're off to a good start because we qualified in Pomona (No. 14) in that one round of qualifying and we did what we had to do. And now we have a good chance to get in the field in a better position because it appears (weather-wise) that we will have four laps to accomplish that at Firebird.

"I really have no concerns about this race. We tested at Firebird in January and (crew chief) Tommy DeLago's got a good handle on what he needs to do. We ran some decent numbers in testing and we just have to go back out there and try to repeat. And hopefully the race track will be somewhat similar. If we're lucky enough to have the same kind of conditions, we should fare pretty well."

Hagan will be signing autographs on Wednesday, Feb. 18, at Moore Chrysler Jeep in Peoria, Ariz., one of BrakeSafe Rear-End Collision Avoidance System's largest customers in Arizona. "It's great to work with Moore Chrysler Jeep," said Hagan. "Their support of our race team is invaluable, and we appreciate their providing Don Schumacher Racing with vehicles for the weekend."

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Don Schumacher , Matt Hagan