The Matt Hagan Express kept on rolling through Las Vegas as the three-time world champion scored his third win in four starts this season. Hagan expanded his incoming points lead by racing his way to the finish line in the final-round quad ahead of Tim Wilkerson, John Force, ad Chad Green. Hagan joined his team owner, Tony Stewart, who won in Top Alcohol Dragster, in the winner’s circle, the 46th of Hagan’s career.
“I went up there, and I was like, ‘Tony’s won, no pressure,’ you know? And then he comes and crawls under the body and says, ‘I just won; you better win. Let’s go.’ Ah, I feel a little pressure now. But it’s great to share this winner’s circle with Tony Stewart, it’s a huge highlight of my career.”
Hagan, the runner-up at this event last year, was his seventh career four-wide final and scored his second four-wide win and first since Charlotte 2013.
“I’ve done everything in the four-wide from not staging the car on time to red lighting to not knowing which lane I’m in, so you’ve got to kind of dummy it down. My crew chief does a really good job of stepping his foot in the beams and I look at the bulb. What’s crazy was, in round two, today, Force turned off the top bulb and that distracts you because you look over and then you come back and the Tree’s falling. It makes you get out of character. I think anybody that says that they got the format figured out, it’s probably BS,. You get lucky out here, you do a good job, and you try to try to dumb it down to make sure that you’re figuring out where you’re at and what you’re doing.”
Hagan qualified the Dickie Venables-tuned Haas Automation Dodge in the No. 3 spot with a 3.936, then won all three of his quads. In the first round, he finished ahead of surprise qualifier Jeff Diehl with a 3.997 then ran 3.968 to reach the final ahead of Force’s 4.069.