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May 21, 2014 - 04:11 PM
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2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA Kansas Nationals Event Preview
Posted by: newsla on May 21, 2014 - 04:09 PM
2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan NHRA Kansas Nationals Event Preview

Matt Hagan is excited. That's because the 2011 NHRA Funny Car champion knows his Rocky Boots/Mopar team is close to flexing the muscle that saw Hagan win a category-best five Funny Car event titles last year.


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"Right now it's kind of a crazy deal with the weather," Matt said. "Everyone expected to be home on Monday, but we raced in Atlanta instead so the guys had a lot of work to do before they left for Topeka. And they'll have one less day to do it.

"Hopefully we have great weather in Topeka and the fans are always great on the Memorial holiday weekend. We're going to have Rocky (Boots) on board for Topeka and we're still looking to get a win for those guys. They've been supporting us and there's no reason we can't win for them in Topeka this weekend. It would be my first win there if we can pull it off; we're just looking to get it done."

Hagan, who owns 10 career NHRA Funny Cars wins, will fly the colors of Rocky Boots on his Dodge Charger R/T flopper for the second time this season. The popular driver who regularly Tweets with fans from his Twitter handle @MattHagan_FC, will promote Rocky Boots and meet with fans in Kansas' state capitol city at Vanderbilt's (3021 SW Topeka Blvd.) from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday.

A day later, he and his Rocky Boots team will hit the strip at Heartland Park as the Virginia cattle farmer hopes to build on the momentum his team experienced last weekend near Atlanta with a top-four finish after qualifying fourth.

"The car has really started running well and we're coming off of our best qualifying effort of the season and our best finish since the Winternationals back in February when we went to the championship round," Hagan said.
"It's coming back around performance-wise, but Topeka will be a whole different animal than what we saw in Atlanta. I have all the confidence in the world in (crew chief Dickie Venables) and this team and I can't wait to get to Topeka see more improvement from this team. We're definitely going in the right direction and I'm excited."

The following are Hagan's Topeka, career and 2014 statistics:

MATT HAGAN, Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T
Last event (May 18), Atlanta: Qualified No. 4, lost semifinals to Courtney Force
A year ago at Topeka: Qualified No. 6; lost in first round to Bob Tasca III
Career at Topeka: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0

Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 9th 7 0 1 1 1 4 0 0 6-7
CAREER 127 10 15 17 38 42 15 4 156-113
Best Time, Speed: 3.986 sec. (7-26-2013, Sonoma, Calif.); 322.27 mph (9-17-11, Charlotte 2)

driver (wins), points
1. Robert Hight, (4), 730
2. John Force, (1), 524
3. Alexis DeJoria, (2), 472
4. RON CAPPS, 430
5. Del Worsham, 400
Courtney Force, 369
9. MATT HAGAN, 368
10. Tim Wilkerson, 329

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