HAGAN'S CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES HIGH HEADING INTO READING CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (Oct. 5, 2010) - For a 27-year-old second-year racer in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Matt Hagan is unusually calm and cool as he faces a tight battle for...
HAGAN'S CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES HIGH HEADING INTO READING
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (Oct. 5, 2010) - For a 27-year-old second-year racer in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, Matt Hagan is unusually calm and cool as he faces a tight battle for his first Funny Car championship this season. The series travels to Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., this weekend, just outside of Reading, Pa., for the fourth of six final events in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Racing the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, Hagan is fresh off his third victory of the season in as many final rounds in Dallas two weeks ago and is second in the rankings, just 25 points short of first place. While one would expect him to be fidgety, nervous and anxious as his first non-rookie season winds down with a chance to earn the crown, he is in fact so busy around his Angus Cattle farm in Virginia "that I haven't even had time to think about racing a nitro Funny Car," he said.
The fight for the crown has tightened up among four drivers/teams, including two from John Force Racing (J. Force in first, A. Force Hood in fourth) and Don Schumacher Racing (Hagan in second and Jack Beckman in third). Only 68 points separate the four. It's anyone's championship at this stage, including the rest of the top 10, who could move into contention with a strong result in Reading.
"We're within striking distance right now," said Hagan, who took time off from his chores to give it some thought. "We have a great race car and a great team. The DieHard crew guys have done exactly what they needed to do to put us in this position to win.
"A lot of it has to do with luck. You have to be little lucky and we just have to do everything right. You can't put any extra pressure on yourselves. Laying in bed at night thinking about it doesn't make it any better. You just have to play the cards that you're dealt and hope you get a lucky hand. We're going to do our jobs the best we can and have some fun doing it.
"Right now all I'm doing is just farming. There's so much to do around the house and farm that I don't even think about racing when I'm at home. So, between these cows calving and my working to keep them alive, I've got my hands full right now.
"But, once I get to Maple Grove, I will focus on the job at hand there."