Don Schumacher Racing press release
MATT HAGAN TRUCKS INTO BRAINERD ON ROLL FOR LUCAS OIL NHRA NATIONALS
BRAINERD, Minn., August 15, 2011 – Aboard his menacing black Freightliner/DieHard Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, Matt Hagan looks to continue his mid-season performance surge this weekend in the 30th-annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals here at Brainerd International Raceway.
On the just-completed three-race Western Swing, the 28-year-old Don Schumacher Racing driver reached the finals and semifinals in two of the contests, while his first-round loss in Denver was by a scant .003 seconds.
“We’ve been qualifying well (second twice, third twice, fourth and seventh in the last six races) and going rounds, so my confidence just keeps increasing,” said the Christiansburg, Va. native. “Tommy DeLago (crew chief) has been making improvements in leaps and bounds with his new setup – all I have to do is not mess up in driving the car.
“We’ll use this week’s race here to continue evaluating and refining this setup as we prepare for the playoffs. It’s all good.”
For the first time this season Hagan will wheel a Freightliner liveried Funny Car down the 1,000-foot drag strip.
“It’s always exciting having the Freightliner folks come out to one of our races,” he said about the supplier of the 11 Class 8 tractors which transport DSR’s seven nitro teams from race to race. “They’re super nice and very supportive. And it’s cool running that body – I’m excited to be flying their colors and would love to put together the first win for a Freightliner body.”
Hagan comes to the Gopher State holding fifth place in the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings, one race-round win from clinching a spot in the Countdown to 1 (with this and the U.S. Nationals Labor Day weekend remaining to set the field of 10 for the playoffs).
“No worries about getting into the Countdown,” he said. “And we know how important it is to be ready for that six-race stretch when the champion will be crowned (he was runner up for the 2010 championship). But