Sonoma: Matt Hagan preview

HAGAN SERIOUS ABOUT SONOMA CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (July 13, 2010) - Matt Hagan is serious about racing at the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., this weekend. He's got a strong car under him in the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car ...

HAGAN SERIOUS ABOUT SONOMA

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (July 13, 2010) - Matt Hagan is serious about racing at the FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., this weekend. He's got a strong car under him in the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car tuned by Tommy DeLago, and he's returning to the site of his first No. 1 qualifying effort. In last year's event at Infineon Raceway, Hagan not only grabbed the pole but set both ends of the track record: 4.068-second ET and 307.51-mph top speed.

Hagan is third in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series point standings, just 94 markers out of second place (Robert Hight), and is getting closer to clinching a spot in the Countdown to 1 playoffs, which begin for the top 10 in the final six events of the year. He is also 135 points behind first-place John Force.

"We made it to the semifinals last week in Seattle, so hopefully we can carry some of that momentum into Sonoma this weekend," said Hagan, 27, who manages a 500-acre Angus Cattle farm in Christiansburg, Va. "Sonoma is a great race track to compete at and the surrounding wine country is awesome. But, even though it would be nice to taste some of the great wine in that area, we have to get serious about our racing goals.

"We would love to move up to second place and work our way into first, but right now we just have to take it one lap at a time. This DieHard car is running good, the guys are working well together and we have to focus on getting down the track each time and demonstrate how solid this team really is.

"We've got the track records at Infineon and I think it would be a great place to get our third win of the season and assure our place in the Countdown to 1 playoffs. Even though the points are reset going into the Countdown, it gives you great confidence to be able to enter the playoffs carrying some positive momentum. We really would like to lock ourselves into the Countdown soon, and the quicker can we do that the quicker some of that pressure comes off us and then we can focus on our run for the championship."

Hagan is scheduled to throw out the first pitch this Thursday, July 15, at the San Francisco Giants vs. New York Mets game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. "I've never done that before," said Hagan. "That's going to be a great opportunity. I started practicing back in Seattle, when I first heard I would be doing that."

-source: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Robert Hight , Matt Hagan