Shirley Muldowney as honorary campaign manager to get Hagan into Traxxas Nitro Shootout

The most famous name in NHRA drag racing has endorsed the candidacy of Matt Hagan in his race to get into the Sept. 2 Traxxas Nitro Shootout.

Matt Hagan
Matt Hagan

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

"If it's for Matt Hagan I will crawl on my hands and knees over broken glass," said Shirley Muldowney, the most successful woman in motorsports history and most famous drag racer of all time.

Muldowney, winner of three NHRA Top Fuel world championships, has adopted Hagan as her favorite racecar driver.

"Something about what Matt brings to our sport is so different from what anyone else has brought into this sport," she said. "I have never had a hero in any sport I looked up to until I met Matt. He's the most handsome man I've ever met, but he could be a 99-year-old man. It doesn't matter to me, because he is just a special, special man."

Muldowney said she became enamored with Hagan after she began listening to his interviews since he became a full-time professional Funny Car driver for Don Schumacher Racing in 2010.

That's why she wants to see Hagan pull enough votes between Aug.19-28 at to enhance his chance of getting into the Shootout by having his name drawn in a weighted lottery at noon on Aug. 29 at Monument Circle in Downtown Indianapolis to kick off the Aug. 29-Sept. 3 U.S. Nationals held over Labor Day weekend.

The U.S. Nationals holds a special place in Muldowney's heart. She won the prestigious Top Fuel title in 1982.

She appreciates Hagan for more than his good looks and driving skills that led him to the 2011 NHRA Funny Car world championship.

"He is an excellent, excellent driver. That goes without saying," she said. "But what makes him to special is that he's down to earth and a wonderful family man. He is wonderful to everybody, and he shows he has feelings for people. He warms my heart.

"There are only two pictures of racers in my office: one is Dale Earnhardt that he signed 'to Shirley, I'm a big fan,' and the other is of Matt Hagan."

The first seven spots in the eight-car Shootout, which will pay the winner $100,000, went to the first seven winners of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event this season. The eighth and final spot will be selected in a lottery-style drawing where drivers' chances of having their names drawn will be determined by the percentage of votes each receives on

Hagan Across America

The "Vote 4 Hagan Across America" campaign continues through Aug. 28 when fans can go to or to download and print a special Hagan campaign poster. Then you can take the printout to a special place in your locale that shows scenery or a landmark to take a photo of it then post it at

An expert DSR panel will select the 10 best family-suitable entries. Those selections will be announced on Aug. 28, and each will receive a 2012 Matt Hagan 1/24th-scale diecast collectible of his Aaron's Dream Machine Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.

Entries will become part of a photo album at

Full-size posters for $10 can be purchased this weekend at the Don Schumacher Racing merchandise trailer on the midway during the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Kent, Wash., and at the DSR website store at

Source: Don Schumacher Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Shirley Muldowney , Don Schumacher , Matt Hagan
Article type Breaking news
Tags funny car, hagan, muldowney, nhra