Q: Eddie, now that you've had the night to reflect on it, how gratifying is it to win your second Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship and to do it in a season when you and Andrew Hines both seem to dominate the class?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: It obviously means everything to our Vance & Hines Screamin' Eagle Harley Davidson team. We set a goal at the beginning of the year as does everybody else, and our goal was to win the championship. Our main focus is obviously keeping our motorcycles competitive throughout the season.
It's a very competitive category. Throughout the last two or three years, this class has grown leaps and bounds in that area of anybody can win, and on race day, any given qualifying position has a shot.
So by no means is it a cake walk or easy to do. We just try to be consistent, stay on top of our game and move forward. To set goals and to achieve them is something that when you look back on the season it puts a smile on your face and keeps you more excited and ready to move into next season.
But when you look at it as how competitive the class is, all the classes are like that. That is the great thing about NHRA Drag Racing is I feel right now at any given category, when you sit down in the stands and you watch it and you really don't know who is going to win when they're lined up next to each other, makes it that much more exciting.
For a driver to turn around and say they've won or won the championship or had the opportunity to win that race in a situation like that where they don't dominate, we may have had great motorcycles all year long, but by no means were they dominating the season or the class. Because of the fact that if you just take the statistics and look at it, yes, I had three No. 1 qualifiers. I was the sixth finals, four wins and didn't fall less than third out of my point bracket in the category. But the end result is there are a lot of little pieces to that puzzle to get it to that point.
So it's something that our team is just proud of, and we're excited to be part of and being able to call ourselves world champions again.
Matt, after such a heartbreaking end to the season last year, what did it mean to you to not only win your first world championship, but to do it at the same event that had such a big impact on you in 2010?
MATT HAGAN: First of all, it's just tremendous to be a world champ. But I don't think it's set in yet. It's kind of like this year I've gotten to throw out two first pitches at the baseball games, and I kind of pride myself on being athletic a little bit and want to throw a strike in there. I bounced my first one in.
That is kind of what that world championship last year felt like, like I bounced the ball. So I got a do over again this year, and I finally threw a strike.
It all worked out. I just can't say enough for my guys and for Tommy DeLago. What a phenomenal crew chief. He's a bad ass when it comes down to it. He's the guy you want to put yourself around and you're going to have a long career and a great career.
My guys have worked so hard. I'm just a small piece in this puzzle. Without them, this could have never happened.
Del, after so many years of competing in Funny Car, did you ever imagine you'd win a world championship in Top Fuel?
DEL WORSHAM: I definitely didn't imagine it a couple years ago when I signed on with Al-Anabi. I signed on to a Funny Car contract. And then halfway through the 2010 season, Sheikh Khalid, the owner of the Al-Anabi Race Team made the decision to switch both cars over to Top Fuel for the 2011 season.
I knew when he made that call that I'd definitely be in position to possibly win it, but there is no telling what's going to go down or how you're going to drive, or how the teams have come together. So, no, I never really did ever imagine it up until about a year ago.
Q. Question for Del and Matt, how long did you guys expect the thrill of winning a championship to linger?
DEL WORSHAM: It actually hasn't even set in at this point. I still feel like we're still in race mode. I said it last night, I'm still kind of at that level where the reality of what took place hasn't totally set in. I need to sit down and watch the coverage, and watch the emotions and see what happened.
But I'm sure it's going to last a lifetime to some degree, you know? And it's going to be with me right up until we pull the wires off for testing next season.
MATT HAGAN: As well for me. It's something that I don't think you can ever replace how hard you work to get to that situation, how much you've prepared yourself. Then when it all happens and comes true, you've got to take it in and enjoy it.
But it's something they can never take away from you is that you're world champion. There are a lot of guys out here competing, a lot of good racecars and good drivers. To be at the pinnacle of the sport here and to be able to wear that ring is something else. I don't think it will ever lose its luster.
Q. Eddie, you said yesterday that this championship validates the one you won in '08 when you didn't win any races. I'm wondering, has that been something that's been eating at you silently for three years?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: To answer your question, yes. Yes, it has. I caught a lot of grief from a lot of people on being a champion and never winning a race. It's just something...it was a bittersweet win for me. It was my second year racing. Obviously, having the opportunity to win a championship is something that everybody wants to do. At the end, I had this big prize.
Building up to that big prize, I never had the opportunity to win one of those little prizes. I was fortunate that season to win the shootout for us, which was a bonus race, a $25,000 shootout. But it still wasn't a national event win.
The following year I went out and went to a total of 10 finals, eight of them straight in a row, and I lost the championship by two points. At the end, it was sort of a punch in the gut to me, because that was my championship season. I defended my title. I won races, but I didn't win a championship.
So, this year I finally can say I won races and I won a championship. So this is just something that really puts a smile on my face, and makes me proud.