EPPING, N.H. (July 4) — The family name Lagana holds a lot of weight at historic New England Dragway, a fact not lost on second-generation drag racer Dom Lagana as the sixth annual NHRA New England Nationals arrive in town.
“Dad used to match race all the time up here,” Dom said, referring to his father Bobby Lagana Sr., who barnstormed the Northeast in a Funny Car in the 1980s and ’90s. “Growing up just a few hours south of here (on the New York/Connecticut border), this was a regular stop for us.
“I’ve personally raced here in a bunch of NHRA races, our dad match raced here all the time when we were kids, and we’ve all competed in IHRA events here forever. It’s another one of those tracks we kinda grew up at. I even made my first 300 mph run here in a match race against my brother Bobby in 2009, so that was cool. Nothing but wonderful memories from here.”
Making more happy memories this weekend is at the top of the list for Dom, who races a second CatSpot Organic Cat Litter Top Fuel dragster alongside Scott Palmer at a limited number of NHRA events. So far, Dom has entered four of 12 NHRA races, successfully qualifying for each one and advancing to the semifinals in Charlotte.
“We are excited any time we get to race,” Dom said. “We made a good run on Sunday at the last race in Norwalk (Ohio) so we have something to build on. We’ll see how warm it gets here and we’ll just adjust accordingly to the track conditions. We feel like we’ve got a little more handle on the car than we did before Norwalk.
“The main goal is to get four A-to-B runs in the books during qualifying so we can learn and get a lot of data to work off. If we get cooler conditions Friday night, we’ll try to run somewhere in the 3.70s. That will be fun, for sure.”
Without question, Dom and his brother Bobby Lagana Jr., the co-crew chief of points leader Steve Torrence’s dragster, will have plenty of local support.
“I know a bunch of my dad’s friends who live in upstate New York are coming up and then we have a cousin and uncle from my mom’s side that live up around here who also are coming out,” Dom said. “Because of our dad racing here for so many years, we’ve got a good fan following at this track. We always see the same faces every year and it’s nice. It’s always good to see our loyal fans and have their support.”