HAGAN SET FOR FINAL PRE-COUNTDOWN RUN IN BRAINERD CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (Aug. 10, 2010) - Racing the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car, Matt Hagan is ready for this weekend's 29th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway, the...
HAGAN SET FOR FINAL PRE-COUNTDOWN RUN IN BRAINERD
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (Aug. 10, 2010) - Racing the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car, Matt Hagan is ready for this weekend's 29th annual NHRA Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway, the final NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event of the year before the Countdown to 1 playoffs begin for the top 10 in points.
Third in the standings, having clinched a spot in the Countdown, the 27-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va., is looking for a good result before the battle for the championship kicks in for the final six races. In only his second full season in the pro Funny Car class, he's clearly a strong contender for the crown.
"I'm just hoping to have a good race," said Hagan, third in the rankings with a mathematical, albeit slim, chance of moving into second this weekend. "We've got a really consistent race car; we just have to go out there and keep going rounds.
“The biggest thing is you can't let this Countdown drama creep into your head. You can wish a win, or even a championship, to happen all you want; you just have to go out there and make it happen for yourself and nobody is going to do that for us but ourselves. (Crew chief) Tommy DeLago is really coming around as a tuner and I think my driving is coming around a little bit. A lot of it is confidence. If you have the confidence you'll do well.
"I think we've done what we need to do to build up our confidence coming into this Countdown," added Hagan, who's won twice so far this year, qualified No. 1 twice, set a national elapsed time record (4.022 seconds), and advanced to five semifinals. "There's still a lot of room for us to grow and learn. We haven't peaked as a team yet, so I'm really excited about that.
"I'm also excited that our DieHard crew guys are doing so well. Those guys are the ones who are really making us go rounds. Tommy's doing a good job and I'm doing a good job, but those guys are being flawless up there. And that allows us to do our job better."