McFarling: Boom! Christiansburg's Hagan back on top
The first time Matt Hagan’s engine blew up in a national event, a legend suggested he pull a Ricky Bobby.
Hagan never will forget the scene. Sitting in an ambulance, his eye cut and bleeding, his hands swollen, his face black, the Christiansburg driver saw drag racing icon John Force poke his head into the vehicle.
“Kid, I’m glad you’re all right,” Force said, according to Hagan. “But man, next time, you need to get out and roll around and act like you’re on fire. Put on a show. That’s the only way you’re going to get more TV time.”
Hagan laughs looking back at that. Typical Force, always the entertainer.
But several years later, Hagan has found an even better way to get on TV: contend for championships.
A week ago today in Mohnton, Pennsylvania, Hagan won the NHRA Nationals to take over the Funny Car points lead. He has a 36-point edge over Force, the 16-time series champion, with two events left.
And the craziest part? Hagan’s engine exploded in the finals. He was able to maintain control of the car, resist the urge to grab the brake, and reach the finish line ahead of his opponent. Read Full Story
Hagan takes Funny Car points lead
MOHNTON, Pa. -- Matt Hagan won the NHRA Nationals on Sunday to take the Funny Car points lead, his engine exploding as he crossed the finish line at Maple Grove Raceway.
Hagan had a 4.333-second pass at 215.00 mph in a Dodge Charger to beat Tommy Johnson Jr. Hagan raced to his third victory of the season and second in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. He opened a 36-point advantage over 16-time series champion John Force with two events left.
"The points lead is huge, but like I said, we showed up here to win a race," said Hagan, the 2011 Funny Car series champion. "Points change but the Wallys (trophies) you put on your shelf don't. We did what we set up to do this morning and that was to turn the win light on four times." Full Story
WINNERS CROWNED AT NHRA NATIONALS IN READING
Hagan crossed the finish line in spectacular fashion when his Rocky Boots Dodge Charger’s engine exploded following a 4.333-second pass at 215.00 mph, defeating Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final round. He was appearing in his third Countdown final and picked up his second win in the playoffs.
Hagan, who has three victories on the season and 13 in his career, opened up a 36-point advantage on 16-time world champ John Force with two races remaining in the season. He defeated Tony Pedregon, Jack Beckman and Alexis DeJoria to advance to the final. Read More Competition Plus