News

Latest News

hagan-hero.jpg

As a guy who rides a tractor when he’s not wheeling his 11,000-hp Mopar Funny Car, the farmer in Matt Hagan is very familiar with the old encouragement to “Make hay while the sun shines.” So, when the two-race-old NHRA racing season resumed in July after a four-month hiatus due to the pandemic, with no idea how much racing would comprise a season that seemed at risk with every new developing COVID-19 headline, Hagan took the old saw to heart.

“You never knew when the season was going to stop, so you had to hustle at every race,” he said. “You had to show up every round and get every point, and you knew that if you lost a race it could be the difference between winning the championship or not, and there was going to be no restart, no do-overs.”

Hagan’s advantage was crew chief Dickie Venables, who had spent the offseason developing a new combination that some of his rival crew chiefs under the Don Schumacher Racing umbrella said would never work. But when they opened the season with a pair of No. 1 qualifying efforts in Pomona and Phoenix, and later showed uncanny consistency, the proof was there as plain as the three Wallys he won in the 11-race season and the third career championship trophy that Hagan hoisted at the season finale in Las Vegas.

Read At NHRA

Matt Hagan joins Brian Lohnes on this week's episode of the NHRA Insider podcast and talks about his 2020 NHRA Camping World Funny Car championship season: The ups, the downs, the motivating factors, and the ultimate victory in Las Vegas. Lohnes also talks about some of the most interesting numbers from the 2020 Top Fuel season as well. A fun listen!

hagan71574295838.jpg

Matt Hagan knew the enormity of the situation headed into race day.

Hagan was one of three drivers with a strong chance to win the 2020 NHRA Funny Car championship, and the Christiansburg, Va.-based competitor was in the driver's seat to score it all.

Hagan needed this championship.

He didn't need this title for the prestige or to pad his resume. Nor did he need it for job security.

Hagan needed to win this one for his brother Kyle and gain a measure of closure in losing his younger sibling.

Kyle, 32, passed away on January 8, 2016, suddenly in his sleep. Since then, Hagan has tried to win a championship in memory of Kyle, who was going through a very rough patch in his life; one that the Funny Car champion didn't know how to help his sibling fight through.

Matt and Kyle"Growing up, we fought like cats and dogs, as most brothers do," Hagan said. "I had always been playing sports and some different things like that, and he'd always tried to, but he had scoliosis. He had almost a 90-degree curvature of his spine, which basically makes your head feel like it's six pounds heavier than normal. And it just makes things more challenging to get around and do stuff. He lived more of a reserved life than I did."

"He still tried. He wanted to play but was really challenged to do that, so we got into cars together and started drag racing a little bit here and there. My fondest memories with him were going to Elk Creek drag strip and being able to race with him.

"But as he got a little older, it got even more challenging just to even drag race. He had a hard time just kind of sitting up and sleeping and moving around and stuff. So racing or any type of physical activity or something that's stressful on your body became challenging for him."

Full Story @ Competition Plus

Matt Hagan won for the third time in 2020, 36th time in his career and handed Don Schumacher Racing its 14th straight victory in the class. Hagan was splendid when NHRA returned to racing in July, winning the first event at Indy and holding the points lead over the final four races. He beat Cruz Pedregon, Paul Lee and Alexis DeJoria to reach the final round, capping off his year in an impressive way. Hagan and Brown’s victories also gave DSR its second straight double-up in the nitro categories and 67th overall.

Next NHRA Event

ngkntk-4wide-logo_0.png

FC Points

Camping World Funny Car Top Ten

1 Bob Tasca III 307
2 J.R. Todd 247
3 John Force 210
4 Matt Hagan 207
5 Ron Capps 195
6 Robert Hight 184
7 Tim Wilkerson 183
8 Alexis DeJoria 148
9 Cruz Pedregon 142
10 Blake Alexander 118

 

 

Hagan Cattle Co

Spitfire-HCC-package_470x.jpg