NORWALK, Ohio – Two-time Funny Car world champion Matt Hagan is carrying the Southwest Virginia flag among the elite of the NHRA. The driver from Christiansburg has 28 career wins, including Sunday's victory in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Ohio. But he wasn't the only driver from our area making noise on the big stage. Hidden Valley and Radford University product Blake Alexander earned his first career win in Top Fuel.
"We always hope each other do well, like I wanted him to do well yesterday. I thought it would be cool to be up there with him because I've raced with him my whole life kind of," said Alexander.
"We run basically the same motors, just different style of bodies. He's a great kid, I like him a lot. We went to Radford University together. I think he's a couple years behind me or something like that. I'm kind of an old guy, but he's good for the area, good for the sport and we just need more young guys like that out there," said Hagan.
Alexander has been racing professionally since 2011. He made the switch from Funny Car to Top Fuel in 2017. He reached the finals this season in Atlanta. Though he fell short, he used that success as motivation. The motivation that paid off in Ohio.
"It's very cool that I finally did it and it didn't take me that long once I switched to Top Fuel. I got on a good team with a good group of people, it makes it a lot easier," said Alexander.
With the NHRA season running through November, there will be plenty of opportunities for Alexander to take home more gold. And along with Hagan, continue to make Virginia proud.