2013 NHRA: Matt Hagan AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals Event Preview
Matt Hagan will have a new look at Texas Motorplex this weekend and it won't only be on his 10,000-horsepower Dodge Funny Car.
The frontrunner for the NHRA Funny Car world championship vows also to have a new outlook as well.
Hagan will fly the colors of longtime Don Schumacher Racing sponsor Freightliner for the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals while shedding the disappointment of last week's runner-up finish near Charlotte. Freightliner, an American manufacturer of heavy duty trucks, chassis and semi-trailer trucks in the United States, has been supplying the DSR organization with big rigs for the past nine years.
"I'm looking forward to seeing all the folks with Freightliner this weekend," Hagan said. "It's a neat one-off car. Hopefully we can do really well for them. We're just looking to keep this momentum rolling. It's usually hot in Dallas so (crew chief Dickie Venables) will make the proper adjustments for that and we'll get after it."
Hagan is ready to move on after a holeshot loss in the championship round to Robert Hight last weekend near Charlotte at the first of four consecutive events and six overall in the Countdown to the Championship playoff. The Freightliner/Mopar/Rocky Boots team extended their points lead by more than four rounds of racing (82 points) over DSR teammate and second place Ron Capps.
"We're starting off with some good momentum going into Dallas," said Hagan, who won at Dallas in 2010. "One thing about Dickie is he has his stuff together. He proved that the other day.
"I came into Charlotte and I asked him if he was ready to go and he said 'Don't you worry about me, worry about yourself' and I said 'alright.' Maybe I needed to worry about myself a little bit more since I lost the final on a holeshot but at the end of the day. I know what I did wrong.
"It was a great race for us, and we're ready to move forward. I'm just going to go up there and do my thing like I have been doing all year long. It's a tough Funny Car class out there right now.
"We've been consistent all year long and that's what we're aiming to do these last five races. We gained added to our lead at Charlotte but can't afford any slip-ups. At the end of the day no matter what, we've already had a great season and I'm ready to see how it plays out."
No. 1 Funny Car
MATT HAGAN, Freightliner/Mopar/Rocky Dodge Charger R/T
Last event (Sept. 13-15, Concord, N.C.): Qualified No. 2; lost in championship round to Robert Hight.
Last event at Dallas (Sept. 20-23, 2012): Qualified No. 13; lost in championship round to Bob Tasca III.
Career at Dallas: Wins 1 (2010); runner-ups 1 (2012); poles 0
Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ W/L
2013 1st 19 4 4 1 4 6 4 0 33-15
Career 115 9 14 16 34 38 14 4 143-102
MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Standings
(OfficIal through Sept. 15 at Charlotte; DSR drivers in CAPS)
1. MATT HAGAN 2,214 (--)
2. RON CAPPS 2,132 (-82)
3. Robert Hight 2,128 (-86)
4. JACK BECKMAN 2,122 (-92)
5. John Force 2,116 (-98)
6. Courtney Force 2,106 (-108)
7. JOHNNY GRAY 2,102 (-112)
8. Cruz Pedregon 2,101 (-113)
9. Tim Wilkerson 2,057 (-157)
10. Del Worsham 2,037 (-177)
2013 REGULAR SEASONS: C. Force, CAPPS, GRAY, C. Pedregon, HAGAN, C. Pedregon, GRAY, GRAY, HAGAN, J. Force, C. Force, HAGAN, GRAY, C. Pedregon, CAPPS, HAGAN, CAPPS, Hight.
2013 COUNTDOWN WINNERS: Hight.
DALLAS FALL NATIONALS INFO
SCHEDULE FOR TOP FUEL, FUNNY CAR
(times are CT)
Friday: 3 p.m., 6 p.m., nitro qualifying
Saturday: 12 p.m., 3 p.m., nitro qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., championship eliminations
(times are ET)
Sunday: 8:30 p.m., championship eliminations, delayed
(As of Tuesday afternoon)
Friday: High 81; 60 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms
Saturday: High 85; 20 percent chance of rain
Sunday: High 87; 0 percent chance of rain
NHRA COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Sept. 13-15 -Charlotte, N.C. (Finals: TF/Morgan Lucas def. SPENCER MASSEY; FC/Robert Hight def. MATT HAGAN)
Sept. 19-22 - Texas Motorplex, Dallas
Sept. 27-29 - Gateway Motorsports Park, St. Louis
Oct. 3-6 - Maple Grove Raceway, Reading, Pa.
Oct. 24-27 - Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
Nov. 7-10 - Auto Club Raceway, Pomona