BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Oct. 24, 2012) - Matt Hagan and the Aaron’s Dream Machine/Mopar Funny Car team hope to take a giant step forward this weekend during the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
With two weeks off since the last NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event, crew chief Tommy DeLago and the team have been hard at work at the Don Schumacher Racing headquarters outside of Indianapolis.
DeLago made the decision to take a new chassis to the final two races of the season. With the new pipe from the DSR fabrication shop, the team has been preparing for what they hope to be the turnaround in their 2012 season.
“We’re going to bring a brand new chassis out that I’ve never sat in before and shake it down this weekend,” Hagan said. “That’s just Tommy DeLago’s thoughts as far as moving forward and looking into the future.
“We’re just trying to come out here and take these last couple of races and bring a new variable versus coming into the beginning of next year and trying to work out a testing situation and not getting enough runs in a new car and not knowing how the car is going to react in different conditions.”
If all goes well, the team will leave Vegas a step ahead on the 2013 season.
“I think it’s smart on Tommy’s part and hopefully we’ll have two cars that go down the race track at the end of this weekend. I feel like Tommy is confident in what he’s doing and I’m confident in our team and hopefully we can get this win.”
There’s nothing more the cattle rancher from Virginia would like to bring back to his farm than a NHRA Wally before the season ends in two weeks at Pomona, Calif. with the Auto Club Finals.
“It’s always great to get back to Vegas,” he said. “But most importantly, we need to pull a win out this year before we finish up the season. I’d love to finish strong and I know our team is capable of doing that. We’ve been to four finals now and we just come up short a little bit.
“It’s just around the corner for us. We need nothing more for the morale of our team and moving forward to next year to finish strong these final two events.”
MATT HAGAN, Aaron’s Dream Machine/Mopar Dodge Charger R/T
Career at Las Vegas: Wins 0, Runner-ups 2 (2009-Apr., 2010-Oct.), Poles 1 (2009-Oct.)
2012 April at Las Vegas: Qualified No. 10, lost to Bob Tasca in second round
2011 October at Las Vegas: Qualified No. 5, lost to Cruz Pedregon in second round
2012 Pts Races Titles Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
11th 21 0 4 0 1 23-20
Career Races Titles Rup Poles DNQ Win/Loss
94 5 10 10 4 109- 85
NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship standings
FUNNY CAR Points Points Behind
1. JACK BECKMAN 2,437 –
2. RON CAPPS 2,414 -23
3. Mike Neff 2,383 -54
4. JOHNNY GRAY 2,246 -191
5. Cruz Pedregon 2,244 -193
6. John Force 2,217 -220
7. Courtney Force 2,216 -221
8. Robert Hight 2,211 -226
9. Tim Wilkerson 2,207 -230
10. Jeff Arend 2,180 -257
11. MATT HAGAN 1,129
Friday: 1, 4 p.m., qualifying
Saturday: 12, 3 p.m., qualifying
Sunday: 11 a.m., eliminations
Sunday: 4-5 p.m. ET, qualifying
Sunday: 8-11 p.m. ET, eliminations