MATT HAGAN RUNS 3.954 IN TESTING
For those who believed newly christened NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car champion Matt Hagan was going to rest on his laurels, Monday evening in West Palm Beach, Fla., the two-time champion sent a clear message. Hagan's message was delivered via his nitro-burning Funny Car -- a 3.954 elapsed time at 323.97 miles per hour. Read Full Story
SALUTE TO THE CHAMPIONS: MATT HAGAN: ENJOYING TITLE NOW BEFORE RIVALS UP THE ANTE
While Matt Hagan was wringing every ounce of energy from himself to focusing on winning his second NHRA Funny Car championship, his Don Schumacher Racing colleagues were trying to get a jump on him for the 2015 season.
That, the Team Mopar / Rocky Boots Dodge Charger driver said, is going to make it tough on him to repeat his title and earn a third.
"I know a lot of my teammates and stuff, they were running combinations that they're looking forward towards '15, and our team personally is going to go test in December, as well. I know [Ron] Capps had some combinations in there and so did Tommy [Johnson Jr.], and so did Jack [Beckman]. Jack had some injector stuff, and everybody was trying new things. These boys weren't thinking about '14. They were thinking about '15. They're already planning ahead for '15, and we've got to get on the same page," Hagan said. "We have to get going and make sure that we're testing the stuff that we need to [use to] come back out here and be strong and run hard and make sure that we don't let our sponsors down and ourselves down for next year." Read More
2014 Mello Yello champ interview: Matt Hagan
Matt Hagan secured his second NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car world championship with four wins and two runner-up finishes this season in his Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger. He also powered to two No. 1 qualifying positions. Hagan clinched the championship with his victory over Tommy Johnson, Jr., in the semifinals in Pomona and then went on to defeat John Force in the finals for his fourth win of the year. This is the second Funny Car world championship for crew chief Dickie Venables, as well.
Hagan took part in a recent NHRA champions’ teleconference to talk about his season.
Q:How important or historic was this championship for you compared to your first one?
Hagan: Well, I think they're all special in their own way. You know, like Tony [Schumacher] said in his speech, each one of them tells a story. Someone said earlier when we were having a press conference your second one is harder to get. They're all hard. Every one of them is hard to get. There's not an easy one out there. But they're all very, very special in their own way, and I'm just tickled to death. It finally kind of started to set in. We partied like rock stars for the last three days and finally got back home about 1:30 in the morning, and it's just all kind of settling in that we won the world championship. It's my second one of my career, and in such a short amount of time, six years out here driving for Don Schumacher Racing and to be able to have two championship trophies from NHRA and Mello Yello sitting in your living room.
Q: Talk about Sunday in Pomona. It was so exciting, at least for the fans on the outside to watch the championship go back and forth, round to round. What was it for you being inside the cockpit on Sunday? Read Full Interview