Matt Hagan, who at 6-1, 225 pounds of solid muscle, admits he’s not intimidated by anyone who slides between the frame rails of a race car. There’s a first time for everything, ask Hagan.

Hagan could only look on in astonishment as a former professional wrestler shoehorned himself into the cockpit of his race car earlier this week outside of Detroit for Roadkill Nights. There was no room to spare in Hagan’s driver’s compartment.

Hagan is a big man, but he’s no Bill Goldberg, who stands six-foot-four-inches tall and weighs 266 pounds.

“He barely fit, but we shoved him in there,” Hagan said, with a laugh.

Goldberg is a spokesperson for Hagan’s sponsor, Dodge and Mopar, and a bona fide gearhead.  

“He’s such a car fanatic,” Hagan said. “We were going to warm this thing up and my assistant car chief Alex, he was like, I guess Goldberg’s been one of his idols growing up and watched him wrestle, and he was like, ‘Man, how cool would it be to have Goldberg warm this thing up?”

“I was like, ‘Hell, that’s a great idea, man.’ You know what I mean?” 

Hagan had his reservations about giving up the seat, but when you have a superstar like Goldberg, shoehorning the grappler into his seat would be good for drag racing.

“We poured him into the seat, man,” Hagan said. “There was definitely no more room left, he’s a bigger boy than I am, for sure. But you know he’s all muscle and everything. But it’s one of those things where just the look on his face and how excited he got just to be in there and that motor in front of him cackling at 11,000 horsepower, he thought it was pretty badass.”

Hagan said Goldberg is likely to drive a Funny Car before he’d consider jumping in the squared circle.

“Just a lot of mutual respect there for that guy, you know, and what he’s done for himself in wrestling. Then to come out of wrestling and really just be a car fanatic, just a Mopar Dodge kind of guy.”  

As Hagan sees it, having such a popular figure as Goldberg proclaiming the sensory overload of drag racing is a win-win for the sport.

“That guy’s got 1.7 million followers on the Internet there, on Instagram,” Hagan said. “For a guy that’s out there doing stuff like that, it’s great because it brings people into our sport and lets them know something that they might not have known, like what a Funny Car was, or just any of that stuff.

“It just sparks interest and creates new questions and opens other people’s minds into our sport that might not have even thought about it. Hopefully, a few people will check out NHRA drag racing because of it.”  

Hagan said the look on Goldberg’s face said it all.

“He said, ‘That’s flippin’ cool, man,” Hagan said. “He wanted to say something else, but he caught himself.”