Matt Hagan with crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Michel Knudsen had a record-setting 2016 season by shattering world and track records throughout the country with their Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T powered by Pennzoil.
In the summer, Hagan, 34, became the first Funny Car driver to reach 335 mph when he went 335.57 to set the world record that remains heading into the 2017 season. A few months later, he completed a run in a world record time of 3.822 seconds.
The cattle farmer who lives in his Christiansburg, Va., with wife Rachel and their three children, has matched both records in 2017.
The 2011 and 2014 NHRA Funny Car world champion started 2017 by winning the first two titles of the season.
Matt Hagan and the Mopar Express Lane Funny Car team led by crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Michel Knudsen had a record-setting 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
The Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T powered by Pennzoil shattered elapsed time and speed records across the country.
In the summer at Topeka, Kan., Hagan became the first Funny Car driver to reach 335 mph when he went 335.57 to set the NHRA world record that remains heading into the 2017 season. That is one of seven NHRA track speed records he holds.
A few months later at Brainerd, Minn., Hagan completed a run in a world record time of 3.822 seconds that is one of six NHRA track elapsed time records he holds.
The Mopar Express Lane team has recorded four of the seven fastest runs in Funny Car history.
The 2016 season was successful in more ways than setting world records for Hagan, who won four event titles in six final rounds and five No. 1 qualifying positions en route to finishing third in Mello Yello championship points.
One of the 2011 and 2014 NHRA Funny Car world champ’s biggest accomplishments in 2015 was recording the first 3.8-second pass in a Funny Car with a time of 3.879.
MATT HAGAN OUTDOORS
The first Matt Hagan Outdoors store opened in December 2013 in Radford, Va., near Hagan’s home in Christiansburg, Va., and success led to moving to a larger location a year later and opening a second location in 2016.
When not wrestling his 11,000-horsepower Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, Hagan spends days on his 2,000-acre cattle farm in Christiansburg where he raises more than 600 “momma” cows that produce calves for the market. He is hands-on from growing feed to being able to handle every chore on the spread.
He is an avid hunter and loves spending early mornings in a tree stand on his property hunting for deer and takes 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.
FUNNY CAR INTRODUCTION
In 2009, Hagan joined DSR and as a rookie and 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, he 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 his ability led to Schumacher hiring him full time for 2009.
Hagan 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.
Hagan 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.
Hagan 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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