Q. As a follow-up to that, they showed Willie G. from the starting line yesterday. I'm wondering what kind of pressure that put on you in the fact that the V Rod is his baby, and here he was at the finals?
EDDIE KRAWIEC: Yeah, Willie G. is a huge drag racing fan. A lot of people may not understand that or realize it, but he follows us all the time. If I do well at a race, it's not uncommon to get a phone call or a text from Willie or Billy or some of the Davidsons. It's a passion for them. They love it. Harley Davidson's heritage is racing starting from the early 1900s, 1902, 1905 with board track stuff.
Racing to them is part of their heritage. Obviously, having Willie there makes it that much sweeter. Last year I was able to win the race and set the national record at Pomona, and had Willie on the start line to see it. So any time he's at a race and we win, it's extra special, and it definitely goes a long way for us.
Q. Do you think that the pressure actually starts right now because now you are the defending champions? How do you consider racing this 2011 compared to what it will be in 2012?
MATT HAGAN: I don't think there is a whole lot of pressure coming in. You know, it's a new start, new slate. That's the way I look at it anyway. We have a new opportunity to go win another one. I don't look at it as somebody can take something away from you as much as we can go out there and win another one.
Not much pressure. The pressure was yesterday, and it's said and done, so you put that behind you and you move forward and get focused on trying to win another championship.
DEL WORSHAM: I'm with Matt. All the pressure from yesterday is relieved now. I think starting off fresh where everybody has equal points again, I don't think being champion makes any extra pressure at that point. You just want to go out and perform good again, and see how it's all going to fold out.
EDDIE KRAWIEC: Likewise on all that. The pressure's off now. It's the start of a new season, getting ready to go and just get ready for your first race, for those guys it's Pomona. For me, it's Gainesville. I'm looking forward to it. Pretty excited. As they say, there is nothing to lose. Just go out there, do the best you can, and hopefully we're in the same position next year at this race.
Q. Del, now with a year down the line and with a championship in hand, can you talk a little about the decision to go from Funny Car to Top Fuel? Are you more comfortable with it? Do you view the decision any differently?
DEL WORSHAM: All right, well, I mean it really wasn't my decision. It was made by the owner Sheikh Khalid. It was his decision to make the move to Top Fuel. When he called and asked me, would I want to drive the dragster when he made this decision, and I was like sure. It sounds like a great opportunity.
Larry won championships, and Alan won championships; and the team was really built to perform well in the Top Fuel category. So it was a pretty easy decision as a driver for myself to jump on board.
As far as being comfortable, I'm way more comfortable than I was back in January, but still probably not nearly as comfortable as I am in a Funny Car. I wouldn't trade it for anything though. At this point, Sheikh Khalid and his decision was pretty genius.
Q. Do you feel like a full-fledged Top Fueler now?
DEL WORSHAM: No, I do not feel like a fuel-fledged Top Fueler or Top Fuel driver. I'm a little wider and heavier than most Top Fuel drivers, but I have a great crew chief and he's able to work around that.
Q. Matt, I'm wondering what it's like to put an end to the John Force reign? They've been dominant in this decade and Don Schumacher Racing has finally put an end to that.
MATT HAGAN: Yeah, it's huge. John Force, that whole JFR camp over there, they win team championships. It's not so much individual championships, you know, so they do a really good job with that. For us to come out as an individual team, you can call it what you want, but everything over here is 110 percent straight up. I've got my teammates beating up on me left and right.
It's one of those deals where those guys make you dig deeper, because they're going to do everything and anything they can to win, and so you know the odds sometimes are stacked against you. You've got to give those guys credit. They do a great job with it. It makes you dig deeper as a driver. Makes you want it more.
I know last year when I had that bad taste in my mouth, I told myself I don't ever want this again. I'll do everything in my power to keep from that. Sometimes it's out of your control and you just have to live with it. But if I have anything to do with it, that's the way I want it to come out.
Yesterday things fell in our favor. We had some really great racing, and we were able to be on the side of the ladder to take out the guys we needed to win the championship.