Stetson Search: Why Hagan doesn't want to be 'kissy-kissy' with Force at AAA Texas Fall Nationals
“My guys busted their butts,” said Hagan, a teammate to Schumacher with Don Schumacher Racing. “We’re spent. But we need to get focused for (Sunday).”
Hagan had the easiest time of all in his championship race. John Force, in the final round for a career-best seventh consecutive race, was disqualified for a red-light violation at the starting line.
“Driver error,” said Force, a 16-time champion. “I screwed up all the work we did.”
That capped a disappointing day for his eponymous team. Brittany Force failed to qualify for the Top Fuel elimination rounds, the first time that has happened to her in 30 races. Courtney Force salvaged something by remaining the top qualifier in the Funny Car division.
John Force, because of his success, is a target. Hagan is 4-3 lifetime against Force and makes no secret of his desire to beat him.
“John is a great racer, and I’m glad we have a little rivalry,” Hagan said. “We need that in our sport. We can’t be all kissy-kissy. He’s the man to beat, and he’s proven it all year long.”
Force retained the Funny Car lead. Krawiec moved from second to first in his division, and Jason Line jumped from 10th to fourth. No one took more advantage of the situation than Schumacher. Read More
Matt Wins a Delayed Charlotte in Dallas Over Force
ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 20, 2014) – Matt Hagan found out on Saturday at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas that some things really are worth waiting for.
Matt had to wait six days to earn the NHRA Carolina Nationals event title, his second of the season and 12th of his career, after last Sunday’s eliminations for the NHRA Carolina Nationals near Charlotte were postponed to Saturday at Texas Motorplex.
Matt won his opening round race against Tony Pedregon in Charlotte before NHRA officials postponed the completion of the event. In the Texas heat on Saturday, Matt and the Rocky Boots/Freightliner Funny Car team led by crew chief Dickie Venables ousted Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight and John Force, who was disqualified in the final round when he had a redlight start.
“It’s just awesome. For Rocky Boots that has been supporting us and to be able to get this win for Freightliner, it’s just phenomenal,” Matt said. “We have so much going on, this Countdown is hectic. We have a lot of stuff moving back and forth.
“Dickie Venables, he did a phenomenal job all day. He’s the man. Our guys work so hard in this heat, a 137-degree racetrack, they are all out here turning wrenches. These guys are working hard and I’m just super proud of them, love them and I just can’t say enough about my team.”
Matt and the Rocky Boots/Freightliner Dodge Charger R/T also qualified No. 6 for Sunday’s NHRA FallNationals eliminations. They will race Bob Tasca in the opening round on Sunday.
“It really does excite me that the car is coming around. We are qualifying well. That’s the biggest thing out here with the Countdown. You have to set yourself up for the first round match-up and have a good opportunity to go down the racetrack and win. These first round losses will eat you up out here.
“You only have six races to make that happen. Our game plan, if we can pull down a couple wins in this thing and go to a couple semifinals and eliminate first round losses I think things can really swing our way.
“We just have a phenomenal race car in this heat and that will transfer into tomorrow,” he said. “It feels good. We have momentum now. These guys have a lot of work to do but we will be ready to go four rounds again tomorrow.”