MATT HARTFORD WINS PRO STOCK TITLE AT NHRA FALLNATIONALS
Pro Stock driver Matt Hartford refuses to be overlooked in NHRA’s Camping World Drag Racing Series.
It seems like everyone seems to forget about the Phoenix, Ariz., driver.
However, Hartford is always lurking around, and he proved again how good he can be as he won the 35th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Sunday in his Total Seal Camaro.
Hartford, on a holeshot, beat perennial powerhouse Greg Anderson in the finals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis.
Hartford clocked a 6.625-second lap at 206.39 while Anderson was quicker at 6.588 seconds at 207.94 mph.
The difference in the win was Hartford’s .018 reaction time compared to Anderson’s .066 reaction time.
“The final, honestly, for me was big because that's now three wins out of nine final rounds,” Hartford said. “But really the semi-final run was the run that really set it apart for us. Erica Enders is just so dominant on the tree and obviously everybody's going to say I strung her out and I was tardy getting in and what took me so long to stage. That's all the truth. We have every right to do whatever we want. She pre-staged fairly quickly and I just decided I was going to take my time, relax, take a couple of deep breaths and not be in a hurry because there's a lot on the line and to beat her and then come back and we didn’t make a good run.
“But then to come back and our team pulled together and made some good changes and Greg dominated us on the track. We just left on them. It's incredible for the Total Seal car to have another Wally. Let it be known, to hold the first-ever Camping World Wally in Pro Stock, that never gets forgotten. People will never forget. Hey, that'll be a trivia question in 20 years. ‘Who won the first Camping World Wally in every category?’ So, for me it's incredible.”
This was Hartford’s third career national event win and first this season. He arrived in Dallas fifth in the points and moved up one spot in the standings 181 behind reigning world champ Enders.
Hartford defeated Chris McGaha, Bo Butner, Enders and Anderson Sunday.
“Well, yeah, McGaha, Bo, Erica and Greg. That's not an easy road to take to get a cowboy hat. But we've had a really good car all year long. At Gainesville, I made a really bad rookie mistake. I went red (in the first round) and I just screwed up when I was staging, and it cost me. St. Louis, we were in the semifinals, it was a good race, but we lost. When we got to the semis here, I said, ‘here's our redemption. Let's go ahead and close this deal and let’s win this race.’”
With two races left on the schedule Houston (Oct. 23-25) and Las Vegas (Oct. 30-Nov. 1), Hartford wants to finish strong.
“We love the fans,” Hartford said. “To have the fans out here supporting us and it's not just us, they're out here supporting the sport and supporting every team. They’re supporting Camping World. It's the greatest sport in the world when people can walk in your pits and want to just talk about it, and we typically don't have ropes up unless we’re thrashing. People come in all the time. They just want to talk about Total Seal. They want to talk about rings. They want to talk about, ‘hey, I seen this.’ We love having the fans around. That's what makes drag racing so much better than most motorsports.”
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