HAGAN GETS READY FOR 10-WEEK GRIND IN TOPEKA CHRISTIANSBURG, VA. (May 19, 2010) - Beginning with this weekend's 22nd annual NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, Kan., the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will visit eight ...
HAGAN GETS READY FOR 10-WEEK GRIND IN TOPEKA
CHRISTIANSBURG, VA. (May 19, 2010) - Beginning with this weekend's 22nd annual NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, Kan., the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will visit eight different venues around the country in 10 weeks. That's a grueling schedule for anyone, especially Matt Hagan, who drives the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing while managing a 500-acre cattle farm in Christiansburg, Va.
"I think it's always great to be in the race car, especially to get the exposure for DieHard," said 27-year-old Hagan, who has one win under his belt as a second-year full-time pro NHRA racer. "But running eight races in 10 weeks takes its toll on anybody. I don't care if you've been doing it one year or 10 years, it's pretty exhausting to be on that schedule and not really have a chance to be at home. Luckily, I do have a few good people who help on the farm, and I’ll miss my family during that time.
"It can wear on you mentally. So, you just have to prepare yourself to be ready go racing that much and stay focused out there.
"I'm just hoping that we can get a good car under us this weekend in Topeka and make some good laps on race day. We've been struggling a little bit to put four runs together on race day. I know we have a better car than it shows. Tommy and John (DeLago and Medlen, crew chiefs) are working hard to get us in the winner's circle again.
"We've been testing some stuff at the races and any time you do that there's a learning period and that's what we're going through right now. We have to relearn everything, regroup and not worry. Tommy and John will have the DieHard car running strong again and get us back up front." Hagan slipped from second to sixth place in the standings after his first-round loss to his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Jack Beckman at Atlanta Dragway last Sunday.
"This weekend's race in Topeka will give us another opportunity to win a race and we have to take advantage of every chance we get."