Norwalk: Matt Hagan preview

HAGAN READY FOR UPWARD MOVE IN NORWALK CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (June 24, 2009) - Matt Hagan is ready to move higher in the point standings at this weekend's third annual NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, ...

HAGAN READY FOR UPWARD MOVE IN NORWALK

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (June 24, 2009) - Matt Hagan is ready to move higher in the point standings at this weekend's third annual NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

After falling to 10th in the rankings following four straight first-round losses, Hagan and the Shelor.com team led by crew chief Tommy DeLago are aiming to break that streak by securing Hagan's first win of his NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series rookie season.

The performance has been there, both from the Shelor.com Dodge and Hagan himself, but the increasingly tough competition in the Funny Car class plus the luck of the draw and some rare mechanical glitches have resulted in early exits. In the last four races the NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year contender has met up with such highly-decorated veterans as Tony Pedregon, his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps, Robert Hight and Del Worsham.

"We have to keep our heads up," said the 26-year-old Angus Cattle farmer. "I have a lot of confidence in Tommy that he's got some tricks up his sleeve to get us out of this rut that we're in.

"I've seen other teams do this. They go up and they go down in the points during a season. Hopefully, we're going to nip it in the 'butt' this weekend and go out there and do well at Norwalk.

"I have raced in Norwalk before," added Hagan, who was runner-up once this season to Capps in Las Vegas. "I was in the semifinals there in 2007 in the Pro Mod class. We hope some of that luck will rub off on us with the Shelor.com Funny Car.

“We just had a couple of tough races these last four. I know we'll get out of this hole that we're in right now. We have to really consider what we're doing and make sure when we do get a break we take advantage of it and don't let it slip through our hands. It's going to be up to me to cut good lights (reaction times) and up to Tommy to make the car go to the other end. As long as he and I can do that and we're on the same page we'll have a good weekend."

Between national events, Hagan has worked on the farm, helping with the birthing of cattle, planting crops, baling hay and enjoying the tranquility. "As soon as I walk away from the last race, I return to the peace - and hard work - of the farm and leave the tune-up of the car in Tommy's and the crew's hands to make sure the car is ready to rock and roll," he said. "I have a lot of confidence in them that they'll have a good race car ready when I get to Norwalk for me to get into, strap in and hold on."

-credit: dsr

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Ron Capps , Don Schumacher , Robert Hight , Matt Hagan