HAGAN HOPES FOR HOMETOWN HOME RUN IN BRISTOL CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (June 15, 2010) - Matt Hagan, who races the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, manages a 500-acre Angus ...
HAGAN HOPES FOR HOMETOWN HOME RUN IN BRISTOL
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (June 15, 2010) - Matt Hagan, who races the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, manages a 500-acre Angus Cattle farm in Christiansburg, Va., just a hop-skip away from Bristol Dragway in Tennessee. So, Hagan will feel very much at home this weekend at the 10th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
In the middle of hay-baling season on the farm, Hagan is also making hay on the NHRA circuit. So far, in his second year as a full-time pro Funny Car racer, he's won two national events in as many final rounds, claimed one pole position and set a national elapsed-time record. He stands third in the class point standings and is hoping for a hometown home run this weekend by winning his third national event of the year, and his first in Bristol.
"We have a great race car; we just missed it a little bit in Englishtown last Sunday (semifinal finish). Although we didn't make it to the final, we know our hot-weather tune-up is beginning to work for us. We expect it to be hot and humid in Bristol also.
"(Crew chief) Tommy DeLago will probably go back to what we learned last weekend and kind of go off of that. We'd love to start a winning streak of our own (he snapped Robert Hight's three-win string after he defeated him in Chicago two weekends ago), but we're just happy to go rounds. This is such a humbling sport that any time we can get out of the first round we're doing a good job.
"The DieHard team is growing together, the driver and the crew chiefs are growing well together, and we're still learning from each other. Having (co-crew chief) John Medlen on board is a great asset. This team hasn't peaked yet; we have a lot of potential left to get out of us and our race car.
"We're coming up to the halfway point of the season and we still have a lot of racing left and a lot of opportunities to win again. We're going to go out there and have some more fun.
"I'm really looking forward to Bristol because we'll be racing in front of a hometown crowd. We're going to have a lot of friends and family out there, so if anybody has any extra tickets they don't need, I sure can use them,” he said with a laugh.
As for his goals for this weekend and down the road, "One of our goals is obviously to win," he said, "but the big goal is to secure a spot in the Countdown. We'd love to be No. 1 right now, but when it really matters is when we get the opportunity to start over and try to peak and have our performance the best it can be when we roll into the Countdown."