Matt Hagan, currently ranked second in the Funny Car standings, is determined to give points leader Ron Capps a run for his money at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
Hagan will be stepping into the cockpit for his impressive 320th career Funny Car start. This will also mark his 14th appearance at Norwalk, a track where he has tasted sweet victory before. In 2018, Hagan claimed the top spot on the podium, outpacing Courtney Force with a blistering performance of 4.094 ET at 288.21 mph. The memory of that triumph remains etched in his mind and fuels his hunger for another win.
Norwalk holds a special place in Hagan’s heart, not just for the memories of victory but also for the unique tradition the track upholds. As Hagan excitedly recalled, “Norwalk is awesome, and they give you an ice cream scoop when you win.” He proudly displays one on his wall, and he’s determined to add another to his collection at this year’s event.
With only 32 points separating him from the top spot in the standings, Hagan knows that every run counts. He acknowledges the fierce competition but has full confidence in his crew and their exceptional car. Together, they have been putting in the hard work, especially with the challenging hot weather conditions, to ensure they are well-prepared for the battles that lie ahead.
Looking back at their recent performance at Bristol, Hagan’s confidence is at an all-time high. “I feel really confident with the last two runs we made during Bristol,” he declared. It’s evident that they are moving in the right direction, and Hagan firmly believes that their dedication and persistence will pay off in the end.
As the track record holder at Norwalk for elapsed time, thanks to his phenomenal 3.865-second run on June 23, 2017, Hagan enters the event with an aura of dominance. With two No. 1 qualifiers already under his belt at this track, achieved in 2015 and 2017, he is undoubtedly a formidable force to be reckoned with.
“We have so many great partners, including Dodge and DAYCO,” said Hagain. “With them being close to Norwalk, it’s a drivable distance to the track, so we’re looking forward to them coming out to support us. We love putting on a show for them. They do an amazing job keeping us surrounded by great people and parts.”