LAST YEAR'S CONCORD RUNNER-UP HAGAN NOT SOLD ON FOUR-WIDE RACING CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (March 23, 2010) - Matt Hagan is coming on strong in his first non-rookie season driving the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing. He's ...
LAST YEAR'S CONCORD RUNNER-UP HAGAN NOT SOLD ON FOUR-WIDE RACING
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (March 23, 2010) - Matt Hagan is coming on strong in his first non-rookie season driving the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing. He's already set a national top-speed record, was low qualifier once, and matched a track-record elapsed time in the first three races of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. He's ready to improve on his and the team's performance, but he's not high on racing four-wide in this weekend's Inaugural NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Concord, N.C.
"It's one thing to race the guy beside you, but when you have to race three others, you don't know what's going on two lanes over," said the 27-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va. "Now, you're going to have to put yourself in a situation where you have to make it go to the end no matter what, because you can't see what's going on in the other lanes, versus just racing the guy beside you.
"It puts you in a tough situation to make the decision of whether you have to pedal at the top end or not, because you can't see what's going on and you have a real good chance of the car blowing up. But, that's the official decision, so we just have to deal with it as drivers.
"I think we have a great race car and I think that, when we get back to the format that we're used to running, it's going to be great. But, somebody's got to win in Concord, so it might as well be us.
"I'm looking forward to going racing again. I think four-wide racing is great for the fans, and I am impressed that Bruton and Marcus Smith and the NHRA are willing to try something so radical. We all have to learn to change and adapt to it. We'll try to go up there and concentrate and focus. Everybody's in the same boat and we just have to do as well as we possibly can."
The Concord event marks the second race with John Medlen as co-crew chief with Tommy DeLago. "I think that Medlen coming on board is great," said Hagan, who went out in the quarterfinal after starting No. 1 at the last event in Gainesville, Fla. "He's going to bring a lot of knowledge and experience to the team. He and Tommy went back after the last race and looked at everything and hopefully changed some stuff around, so we can start going rounds on Sunday."