Coming off his victory at Pomona, three-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan is seeking back-to-back wins as he rolls into the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
After starting the season with three car-to-car battles down the strip, Hagaan explained the adversity that can be the Four-Wide Nationals.
“The Four-Wide Nationals are always different,” said Hagan. “Everything we do is repetition and doing the same thing every time. Burning out the same, taking care of the clutch, backing up the same, staging the car, how much fuel we burn on the burnout, and getting up to the line to run. Four-wide changes all of that.”
Hagan delivered Tony Stewart Racing’s second victory of the season at the 63rd NHRA Winternationals at Pomona Dragstrip, driving his Haas Automation Dodge SRT Hellcat Funny Car to his 45th career victory, which he once again will return to for the Four-Wide Nationals.
“The Haas Automation car was special for me to run. To be able to put a win on the board for them for the first time in the NHRA was pretty incredible. I thought it was super special,” said Hagan. “It would be really cool to pull down another win in that car in Vegas. Your odds are pretty good if you have a fast car. We always seem to do well in Vegas in the Fall, so we have good data to go off of. We’re still learning this new car a bit, but I feel like we have great momentum winning the first two of three races. We’ll have good races and bad races, and that’s just the way of the sport. Our guys are doing a great job of putting the car together. Dickie is really doing a great job making the calls on Sunday. I feel like I’m driving my butt off, so all of that is a great combination for Sunday and try to put this Haas Automation car back in the winner’s circle.”
Hagan will look to earn his fourth No. 1 start at Las Vegas, but his first since the track was reconfigured to four lanes. Hagan scored his first No. 1 qualifier in October 2009.
“The four-wide races are so different, so I try not to put a lot of weight on them,” stated Hagan. “Other than the four-wide event at Charlotte, they’re so different from the rest of our season. I want to go out there and have fun. I want to stay focused and be ready for anything that can happen. It’ll be good to get back out there and lay some numbers down. I think we have a good chance at winning this thing, so we’ll see what we can do.”
Moreover, Hagan leads the Funny Car standings with a 26-point advantage over Ron Capps.