Hagan’s Funny Car win delivered TSR its first victory in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series,

Matt Hagan Gatornationals

“It was just a matter of time before we got this win. Not to brag or boast, but crew chief Dickie Venables is a genius. Dickie can do things with a racecar and just go off his gut instinct and the things that he does are just phenomenal. When you look at the stats and the numbers, we basically won more races together than anybody else in the last 10 years. It’s chemistry. You can’t buy it. You click and work together and we have a group of individuals that are driven and goal-oriented. It’s exciting for me. It’s one of those things where, when it’s good, it’s just really good, and that’s what we have here with our team.

“There was definitely a different kind of feel to it today because the air was different and the track was different, and a lot of these big hitting cars couldn’t pull their stuff back enough. It’s a testament to Dickie Venables, Mike Knudson and Alex Conaway and what they did to reel my car back in when we were out there. I know we might kind of be in trouble when Robert (Hight) smoked them at the first hit. And then we went up there and I had to pedal it to get it to the finish line. They did a great job this weekend putting a good racecar underneath me to go down the track.

“To get this first win at the Gatornationals and Tony Stewart’s first win in a drag car, it’s pretty awesome. He wants to be here, and it says a lot for our sport. It was a good weekend for Tony, a good weekend for NHRA, and I’m just very blessed and humbled to be here. I want to make sure I’m showing up on the starting line and doing my part and I just know what this team is capable of. It’s a lot of tough competition, but as a driver, that’s exciting.

“It was just a big weekend for me, personally. I’ve been wanting to win this race and check it off on my career box, and I think this allows me to accomplish everything I’ve ever set out to do in NHRA.”

  • Friday’s qualifying session was canceled due to rain.
  • Earned No. 4 qualifying position on Saturday (3.898 ET at 320.13 mph)
  • Round 2 of qualifying was canceled due to cold temperatures on a rain-shortened day.
  • Advanced to Finals on Sunday:
    •      Round 1: 5.266 ET at 258.57 mph, defeated Dave Richards (9.057 ET at 83.17 mph)
    •      Round 2: 4.021 ET at 315.42 mph, defeated Terry Haddock (no time)
    •      Semifinal: 3.894 ET at 332.84 mph, defeated Chad Green (4.011 ET at 288.33 mph)
    •      Final: 3.910 ET at 339.96 mph, defeated Blake Alexander (9.561 ET at 80.15 mph)
  • Currently second in the championship standings, 11 points behind Funny Car leader Robert Hight.

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