• Residence: Christiansburg, Va.
• Hometown: Christiansburg, Va.
• Date of birth: Nov. 18, 1982
• Wife: Rachel
• Children: Colby, Penny
• Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 210 pounds
• Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, four-wheeling
• Social media: twitter.com/MattHagan_FC, facebook.com/MattHaganFC, mopar.com, RockyBoots.com
• Category: Funny Car
• Sponsor/car: Mopar/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T
• Team owner: Don Schumacher
• Crew chief: Dickie Venables
• Career event titles: 14
• Career final rounds: 30
• Career No. 1 qualifying positions: 16
• Career best elapsed time: 3.986 (Charlotte 2, 2011)
• Career best speed: 322.27 (Charlotte 2, 2011; national record through 2013)
• 2014, 2011 NHRA Funny Car world champion
• First Funny Car driver to crack the 3-second barrier when he completed a run of 3.995 in 2011 at Charlotte
• Owns and operates a 1,000-acre cattle farm in rural Virginia
• All-district center on Auburn (Va.) High School football team
• Drove a 172-mph drag boat in 2012
• Drove a Monster Truck in 2012
• Father David Hagan owns Shelor Motor Mile new car dealerships and the Motor Mile Speedway short-track and drag strip and Matt Hagan Outdoors in Radford, Va.
Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Funny Car team led by crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Michel Knudsen followed a great comeback season in 2013 by winning the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Series world championship in a dogfight with John Force.
Matt and his team won five titles last season but more importantly won three of the six in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoff. And none were sweeter that his last one that came at the season-finale at Pomona, Calif., after he clinched the championship in the semifinals then followed up by beating Force in the final round of the season.
The championship was Matt’s second in four years, and came three years after he didn’t qualify for the Countdown the year after he won the 2011 championship.
Matt won the 2011 NHRA Funny Car championship for Don Schumacher Racing in his third full season competing in one of drag racing’s top two categories. But the following year the team suffered through a season when it never won a race title or pole, and didn’t qualify for the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff and finished 11th in the standings.
Two weeks before the 2013 season-opener, DSR owner Don Schumacher hired veteran Venables to lead Hagan’s team and the combination produced a series-best five event titles in nine championship rounds and second-place finish in points.
For Matt, it was a personal best for event titles (5), final rounds (9), No. 1 qualifying positions (5) and round wins (40).
Matt led all Funny Cars with a 67.8 winning percentage (40-19) in championship elimination rounds.
The first Matt Hagan Outdoors store opened in December 2013 in Radford, Va., near Matt’s home in Christiansburg, Va., and success led to moving to a larger location a year later.
He and his father partnered with Rocky Boots to open the outdoors store that features a full line of Rocky Brands products including Rocky footwear and apparel along with Georgia Boots.
Rocky joined DSR as a sponsor for Hagan in 2012 to form the perfect marketing partnership and early this year extended the agreement for three years.
When not rustling his 10,000-horsepower Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, Matt spends days on his 1,000-acre cattle farm in Christiansburg where he raises more than 400 head of cattle and grows their feed. Matt is hands-on and can handle every chore on the spread.
He also is an avid hunter and loves spending early mornings in a tree stand on his property hunting for deer. He likes to take a couple trips each year out of state to hunt deer and ducks.
If his bounty is too much for family and friends to consume, he shares the meat with groups helping unemployed around his Virginia home.
During the 2012 spring NHRA event near Charlotte, Matt suffered a major explosion caused by a part failure that sent his $50,000 carbon fiber Funny Car body into the air in many pieces.
Visibly frustrated, Matt climbed out of the car uninjured, tossing pieces of the car aside. The video went viral and was viewed more than 30 million times across the world including in England, Ireland, Spain, Australia and Africa. Hagan also discussed the explosion on BBC radio and television.
In 2009, Matt joined DSR and as a rookie he made it to a pair of final rounds and earned two No. 1 qualifying positions to earn a nomination for the Auto Club Road to the Future award as rookie of the year.
In 2008, Matt tested the NHRA Funny Car waters at four events and qualified No. 1 at the U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis. His early success caught the eye of Schumacher, who called to congratulate him after making the cut at the year’s most prestigious event. That conversation and Matt’s ability led to Schumacher hiring him full time for 2009.
Matt was a proven talent after jumping from Pro Modified to behind the wheel of a Funny Car sponsored by Shelor.com, his family’s automobile business Shelor Motor Mile in Christiansburg.
As an owner/driver, he had great success during 2008 in IHRA competition where he placed third in the Funny Car category and amassed a class-best three event wins.
Matt has been racing for almost half his life. Starting on his family’s quads as a teenager in Virginia, he developed a passion for speed and the thrill of competition to move into circle-track, stock car racing. From there, he began bracket drag racing and later made a huge splash in Pro Mod, earning the 2006 Rookie-of-the-Year honor in the NHRA AMS Pro Mod Challenge.
Matt was an all-around athlete at Auburn High School where he was a defensive lineman and all-district center on the Eagles football team. In the spring, he was the school’s catcher.
He attended Radford University for four years and majored in recreation, parks and tourism.
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