Post-Race #HeartlandNats

Matt Hagan

“I could definitely taste the final today and wanted it bad up there. Coming off the Western Swing where we had three first-round exits, I’m really pleased with the momentum we had and the direction we were able to turn the car around in. Qualifying was everything, so it was great qualifying fourth to be in the top-half of the bracket and have a good ladder.

We have to stay focused on that Friday night hit and put ourselves in a position to be good for the rest of the weekend, since we’re seeing some hot racetracks that make the conditions a bit tougher on Saturday. Unfortunately, something went wrong there in the semifinals. There was some type of ignition issue. It didn’t really fire off on all cylinders. It wasn’t the typical car we had all weekend. I kind of knew something was wrong off the bat, then some cylinders went out and I had to click it off early, so I didn’t hit the wall.

My guys are going over everything with a fine-toothed comb to figure out what it was to get ready for Brainerd. Brainerd can sometimes be cool out there, so it’s one of those racetracks where Dickie Venables (crew chief) really shines.”

  • Earned No. 4 provisional qualifying position in Q1 on Friday (3.943 ET at 320.58 mph).
  • Maintained No. 4 qualifying position from Q1. Hagan’s Q2 run on Saturday was 6.494 ET at 103.86 mph. 
  • Secured No. 4 qualifying position based off Friday’s Q1 run. In Q3 on Saturday, Hagan had a clutch malfunction and was unable to make a run.  
  • Advanced to Semifinals on Sunday:
  •     Round 1: 3.944 ET at 316.52 mph, defeated Chad Green (4.155 ET at 306.26 mph). 
  •     Round 2: 3.999 ET at 312.71 mph, defeated Paul Lee (7.341 ET at 86.41 mph).
  • Semifinals: 4.406 ET at 223.06 mph, lost to Bob Tasca III (4.011 ET at 316.30 mph).
  • Currently second in the Funny Car championship standings, 237 points behind leader Robert Hight.