When NHRA’s Mello Yello Series racing was halted March 12 – two-time world champion nitro Funny Car driver Matt Hagan changed his mindset to everyday life.
“It really let me focus in on my businesses and my family,” Hagan said. “I’m pulled in so many different directions and have so many irons in the fire and trying to make it all work, it (this break) let me get centered. I know we have the winter (off) and stuff like that, but during the winter my farms and a lot of other stuff aren’t up and happening.
“Now, I was home when we are doing all this stuff with crops and cattle and setting up this Hagan Cattle Company where we are offering meat directly to the consumer instead of it changing hands two or three times the way it used to. This just let me get centered with everything during a time when we are super busy, but I’m usually not there. I’m trying to run my businesses on the telephone.”
The new concentration to his multiple business has paid dividends for Hagan.
“It allowed to me gather everything up and be efficient and effective and hone it on things I was wasting money on,” Hagan said. “I also got to spend time with my family. That time is gold. As much I love racing and as much as I want to win and go 330 mph, it (this break) was a blessing in disguise for me. Honestly, I didn’t think there was anything other than racing. When I do something, I get really focused on what I’m doing and give it everything I have got and that’s what I have done with Don Schumacher Racing the last 13 years of my life.
“Having three months off and then only racing twice and then taking another three months off made realize ‘Wow,’ there are things in my life that needed my attention, that I had no idea about. I was able to get my hands around everything and getting more in tune with my people and employees who make things happen for me. I want to do things that I believe will really help people whether it is my CBD (business) or beef (business) and other entities.”
With his businesses in order, Hagan was able to take a two-week trip to South Dakota with his wife, Rachel, and their four children, sons, Colby, 13, and Tucker, 3; and daughters, Penny, 9 and Nelly, 1.
“I went to the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, hiking, it was a lot fun,” Hagan said.
Racing is scheduled to resume July 11-12 and July 18-19 in Indianapolis, and Hagan, who won world titles in 2011 and 2014, is anxious to get in the cockpit.
“I’m so excited to get back to racing,” Hagan said. “That is such a big part of my life and I don’t want to go anywhere, and I really want to get this year in. You smell that VHT and you’re ready to go. I want to get back in touch with my guys and talking to my crew chief. You can’t tell people what it feels like to go 330 mph. That’s a fix you can’t get anywhere else in life. I’m blessed and lucky to do this and there’s no better experience to get in the winner’s circle with your team and that feeling of accomplishment. That’s just the feeling you get for winning one race.”
If anything, longtime fuel racer Cory McClenathan needed the upcoming Indianapolis events as a positive diversion from the run of misfortunes he’s experienced since last fall. #DragRacingNews – https://t.co/de78Dv5yVp pic.twitter.com/UZtkP3Njrm
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) July 4, 2020