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Jul 02, 2014 - 06:55 AM
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2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Event Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 02, 2014 - 06:46 AM
2014 NHRA: Matt Hagan Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Event Preview

It's a busy time of the year for Matt Hagan but he wouldn't have it any other way.

After securing the first event title of the season for the Rocky Boots/Mopar Express Lane team on Sunday near Chicago, he traveled to his home near Christiansburg, Va., for one night before leaving on Monday afternoon for pre-event media work.


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"We got home late on Sunday night and I left again on Monday afternoon to head out and do some media for Mopar and Rocky and the folks that support us," he said.

On Wednesday, Matt will visit Rocky Boots headquarters in Nelsonville, Ohio, before 150 employees in southern Ohio head north to join him at Summit Motorsports Park for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals this weekend in Norwalk, Ohio.

"It'll be awesome going to the Rocky headquarters and checking in with everyone and I can't wait to have them out at the racetrack this weekend. We'll entertain them and try to turn on four win lights."

On Wednesday evening, Matt and the Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T will be at Fin, Feather, Fur (652 US 250, Ashland, Ohio 44805) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to meet fans and sign autographs.

After enjoying a day to catch his breath, Matt and the Rocky Boots team will head to the track in Norwalk to begin qualifying on the Fourth of July.

"It's going to be awesome qualifying on Friday night under the lights at Norwalk and on the Fourth of July. The Bader family put on a great fireworks show last year and I can't wait to see it again."

But Matt is looking forward more to strapping into his 10,000-horsepower Dodge Charger R/T.

"I can't wait to get back in this race car," he said. "After getting that win on Sunday it's just something I didn't want to end. This team has worked so hard and we finally got a trophy this year."

It was the first event title of the season for the team led by crew chief Dickie Venables after a tough 11 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events. The win moved the team from 10th to eighth in NHRA Funny Car standings.

"It couldn't have come at a better time. We had some struggles and were sitting there in the 10th spot in points and that's exactly where you don't want to me. Hopefully we can make it two in a row for all the folks at Rocky Boots and make an even bigger jump in the standings."

MATT HAGAN, Rocky Boots/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T
Last event Joliet, Ill. (June 29): Qualified No. 10, defeated Tommy Johnson Jr. in championship round
A year ago at Norwalk: Qualified No. 6; lost in quarterfinals to Ron Capps
Career at Norwalk: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0

Pts Events Titles Rup Semi Qtr 1st rd Poles DNQ Win/Loss
2014 8th 12 1 1 2 2 6 0 0 17-11
CAREER 132 11 15 18 39 44 15 4 167-117
Best Time, Speed: 3.986 sec. (7-26-2013, Sonoma, Calif.); 322.27 mph (9-17-11, Charlotte 2)

(Official after 12 of 24 events; DSR drivers in CAPS)
driver (wins) pts behind
1. Robert Hight (4) 1,032 ----
2. TOMMY JOHNSON JR. (1) 786 -246
3. John Force (1) 769 -263
4. RON CAPPS (1) 758 -274
5. Alexis DeJoria (2) 747 -285
6. Courtney Force (1) 732 -300
7. Del Worsham 684 -348
8. MATT HAGAN (1) 681 -351
9. Cruz Pedregon (1) 651 -381
10. Tim Wilkerson 603 -429
11. JACK BECKMAN 581 -451

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