BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 27, 2017) - Matt Hagan is a proud cattle farmer in rural Virginia when he is not on tour in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. He knows the challenges that operating an ever-expanding cattle farm presents.
He also knows that his toughest row to hoe isn't on his farm in Virginia but on the racetracks of the six-race NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff that stops near St. Louis this weekend for the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.
The Sandvik Coromant team had a parachute cable break in last weekend's semifinal round at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa., that ended their day early after qualifying second and having one of the strongest cars on race day.
The team led by crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Michael Knudsen enter this weekend's Midwest Nationals fourth in Funny Car points standings, 90 behind leader and Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps.
"You can't dwell on what happened last week," Hagan said. "So the boys went back to the shop and have checked and double checked everything to be ready for this weekend in St. Louis.
"We have to be perfect to stay in this championship fight and our bad luck has to fall on some of those guys in front of us. We knew we had a car capable of winning last weekend and that's what makes this so hard."
Hagan has never won at the Midwest Nationals at Gateway but the two-time Funny Car world champion has been to the final round three times. The team will fly the colors of Sandvik Coromant, cutting tool supplier for DSR, this weekend in St. Louis.
"We definitely need to pick up the win this weekend and the thing about rolling into a racetrack with Dickie Venables in your corner is that you know you can. We just have to go out and make it happen."
Qualifying kicks off at 5 p.m. (CT) Friday for the Midwest Nationals.



Next NHRA Event 2018

FC Mello Yello Points

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Robert Hight (2445)
2. J.R. Todd (2434)
3. Ron Capps (2336)
4. Tim Wilkerson (2334)
5. Tommy Johnson Jr. (2296)
6. Courtney Force (2264)
7. Matt Hagan (2241)
8. Jack Beckman (2229)
9. John Force (2204)
10. Shawn Langdon (2152)