Two-time U.S. Nationals champion Matt Hagan is set to take on the track at Indianapolis Raceway Park once again at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals, eyeing another victory after his memorable triumph in 2016. His impressive run of 3.964 ET at 327.43 mph against Del Worsham is still fresh in many minds. As the anticipation for the event mounts, Hagan enters the U.S. Nationals just three round wins away from his 500th career round win.
Hagan has a storied history with the U.S. Nationals. He boasts five No. 1 qualifiers at Indianapolis, with the most recent ones in 2016 and 2017, where he clocked 3.858 ET at 330.80 mph and 3.799 ET at 338.77 mph, respectively.
In addition to the main event, Hagan will also be participating in the Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout on Sunday. This winner-take-all event pits the top eight Funny Car drivers against each other for a massive $80,000 prize and the pride of being the best among the best. Hagan, tied with Bob Tasca III for the third seed, will be joining the Callout alongside esteemed peers like Ron Capps, Robert Hight, and John Force.
In a unique twist, the Callout allows drivers to challenge their counterparts head-on. Hagan, as one of the top seeds, will have the privilege of “calling out” one of his competitors for a one-on-one race, adding to the drama and excitement of the day.
“I’m looking forward to getting into town early for the Dodge Drive Event and getting focused for the week,” says Hagan. He reflects on his previous experiences, adding, “It’s the biggest race of the year. I’ve won it before, but it’s been a while, so it’s time to win it again.”
Hagan’s passion for the sport and the spectacle of the U.S. Nationals is evident. “Sometimes, we get so caught up in the points, but we also need to enjoy the ride. I want to take it in stride and enjoy the weekend coming up.”
Be sure to tune in to FOX at 4 p.m. EDT on Sunday for a recap of the day’s events and the live broadcast of the final round at 5:15 p.m. as the top Funny Car drivers, including Hagan, go head-to-head for the coveted $80,000 prize.
“I enjoy everything we get to do outside of the track. I’ll get to participate in the Riley Children’s Hospital car show and autograph session on Friday. That really puts things into perspective and it’s incredible how blessed we are to have healthy children. We’re very competitive on the track, but it reminds us it’s not always a bad thing to lose a drag race. Your kids and family are everything. We’ll also have a lot of support at the track from Dodge, so we’re going to enjoy the week.”