Chat with Matt Hagan
Hagan has been in 10 final rounds in his career.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, we'll be going checking in on the drag racing circuit with NHRA driver Matt Hagan, as the series hits the second event in the Countdown to the Championship. This weekend, the drivers hit the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas.
Hagan won last weekend's Funny Car race in Charlotte, putting himself in second place in the point standings. While qualifying for the race, Hagan put up the first sub-4.0 second run in Funny Car history. The victory gave him his fourth career win.
Send your questions now and join Hagan Friday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:59 PM)
We've got Matt!
James (Rochester, NY)
How do you feel about the season so far?
Matt Hagan (2:00 PM)
It's been up and down. A roller coaster. We know we have the potential to do well any time we get to the line. We have had to test a lot of stuff this year. Things change quickly. It's not over until it's all over.
Laura Imig (Omaha, NE)
What do you do to mentally get ready for a race? Do you listen to music? Things like that. Thanks!
Matt Hagan (2:01 PM)
I think the biggest thing you can do is get hydrated and get some sleep. It's a mental game out here what we're doing, more so than physical. You have to prepare yourself to do everything. You walk yourself through what you want to do. It's a mental sport.
Rachel (Rancho Cucamonga)
After coming so close last season, how big would it be for you to end this year with not only the first 3-second run but also your first world championship?
Matt Hagan (2:02 PM)
It would be huge. We're all out here to win a championship. We're still so far away from that. You saw me move five positions in one race, so we could move five backwards. I'm a prime example of anything can happen until it's said and done, like last year.
Rick (North Carolina)
I was there Fri. night and that was just an awesome run and weekend for that matter. After what happened at Pomona last season do you try to forget that or use it as motivation for this year?
Matt Hagan (2:03 PM)
I use it as motivation all winter long when I lost weight and got in shape. But you ahve to close the door on it, if you live in the past you get stuck. We're putting one foot forward. We're learning from it, what to do differently and putting it behind you.
Ed (Houston, TX)
You did very well last year at the Motorplex. But this year it will be hotter on Sunday. How's Tommy's hot weather tune up?
Matt Hagan (2:04 PM)
The hot weather is an equalizer out here. It's the biggest variable. You come in here with the mindset of getting your first run under you and see what happens. It's harder when you have a fast car and try to get down the race tracks. But that's why they get paid the big bucks.
Floyd (Cleveland ohio)
Hey Matt, what's harder to handle the cows or the funny car?
Matt Hagan (2:05 PM)
I guess it's a toss up at times. When a cows got you down kicking, you'd rather being in a funny car blowing up. But the race car can be a handful sometimes.
Dave (Manteca, CA)
Congrats Matt! I am just wondering....wasn't the move to 1000 feet supposed to keep speeds down? It seems the crews have figured out the way around it. What did you think is next to keep racing safe?
Matt Hagan (2:06 PM)
They're obviously been testing restrictor plate stuff and different motor combinations. I haven't heard much about it. They're always keeping an eye on safety. For us to go out and run 322 and outrun the other dragsters, but don't think the NHRA doesn't have their eye on it and back these cars down a little bit. They're just trying to keep them safe.
Ellie (Upland, CA)
Matt, is this the year we'll see a Don Schumacher Racing dragster and Funny Car win the world championships?
Matt Hagan (2:07 PM)
I sure would love to think so, but it's not over til it's over. We have a lot of momentum coming into this race. We just have to keep our head down and our ears pinned. Things change so much in this sport. One day you're a hero, the next a zero.
Matt, first off congratulations on being the first fuel funny car team in the 3's. Second, was it hard to stay focused on just winning rounds as opposed to backing up the record?
Matt Hagan (2:08 PM)
You're always thinking about backing up your record. Being able to get that out the first round, but the sun came out and then you start thinking it wasn't meant to be. But we kept running fast. It shows how focused Tommy is with this race car.
mike (so. cal)
congrats on your win last week end that was great
Matt Hagan (2:09 PM)
The Die Hard car has been running so strong, you just think to yourself to keep it simple. The more you simplify what you do, the less you mess up. If you overthink the situation, don't. Just when the light turns green, keep it simple.
how much of a good time is reaction to the light?
Matt Hagan (2:10 PM)
It really depends on how you stage the car. On race day you'll see the change up a lot, depending on who you're running. A lot of it changes, which you can look at in qualifying as reaction times and see how people are on the tree. At this stage, everyone is taking a stab at the tree and not holding back.
Matt...Who's your fav driver in funny car right now besides your teammates....Can't wait to see all you guy's in Phoenix
Matt Hagan (2:11 PM)
Me and John battled it out last year. I have so much respect for the guy. They'll get it together and be right in the fight with us. It was an awesome battle last year. I wish it would have turned our way. I always keep that guy in the corner of my eye to see what he'll do.
Ryan McKenney (Roseville, CA)
I wanted you to win the Powerade Championship last year, and I think you can do it this year... As much respect as I have for Mike Neff, how satisfying must it be to beat a Force car in the finals at Charolotte when John himself robbed you of the championship last year?
Matt Hagan (2:13 PM)
It's huge, because they run as one team over there. Over here at Schumacher, it's every individual for himself. It feels like you've done something when you beat someone from over there.
Matt Hagan (2:13 PM)
Thanks guys for coming on and chatting. It's come a long ways since I started. Before I don't think there were more than one or two people asking questions. I hope we can continue to win some races!