Matt Hagan Takes Direct Connection Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat To Back-to-Back NHRA Amalie Gatornationals Funny Car Titles
GAINESVILLE, FL – Three-time NHRA Camping World Funny Car Champion Matt Hagan of Christiansburg, Va., scored his second straight NHRA Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals drag racing title Sunday by driving his Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Direct Connection Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to victory at the legendary Gainesville Raceway in the 2023 NHRA season-opening national event.
Hagan, who qualified fifth Saturday in the 16-car field, defeated former NHRA World Champion J.R. Todd in the Funny Car final with a 3.926 at 329.34 miles per hour to claim his 44th career NHRA Funny Car crown, moving him to fourth all-time in NHRA Funny Car victories. In an exciting Funny Car finale, Hagan and Todd battled side-by-side through half track before Todd’s car smoked the tires and Matt went on to take the win light.
Earlier in eliminations, Hagan defeated Tim Wilkerson, Bob Tasca and Alexis DeJoria to advance to the final round against Todd.
Hagan gave credit for the victory to his Dickie Venable-led TSR crew, as the team debuted a new chassis and engine parts in the season opener.
Pruett, Hagan Lead Dodge//SRT Direct Connection Nitro Cars For TSR in 54th NHRA Amalie Oil Gatornationals Qualifying Saturday
GAINESVILLE, FL – The season opening NHRA Amalie Motor Gatornationals proved to be exciting qualifying rounds Saturday before a sellout crowd. Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan of Tony Stewart Racing led the Dodge//SRT and Mopar competitors in the nitro-burning divisions with their respective Top Fuel and Funny Car machines.
Pruett, the 10-time NHRA national event winner, drove her all-new sublime green TSR Direct Connection Top Fuel dragster to fourth in the 16-car starting field Saturday with a 3.725 at 331.94 miles per hour. Pruett and her Neal Strausbaugh-led crew showed consistency in the three qualifying runs with two 3.72-second passes. The Arizona driver will compete against the No. 13 qualifier, Doug Foley, in Sunday’s first round of eliminations.
Hagan, the defending NHRA Gatornationals Funny Car champion, also showed consistency Saturday with a 3.900-second qualifying run and a top speed of 333.08 m.p.h. with his TSR Direct Connection Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to record the fifth spot in the 16-car field. Rain in Friday’s qualifying cost the nitro cars a fourth qualifying hit, but the Virginia driver is confident in his Dickie Venables-led crew to handle the ever-changing conditions of the Gainesville Raceway track surface.
Dodge//SRT and Mopar Cars Light the Tree in Gainesville For the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series
AUBURN HILLS, MI – The excitement of the opening round of the 2023 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series hits a 11,000-horsepower pitch this weekend (March 9-12) at the legendary Gainesville Raceway in Florida as Dodge//SRT and Mopar competitors are staged to kick off the new season with another winning performance in the 54th annual NHRA Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals.
Led by the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) nitro team, Dodge//SRT and Mopar racers Leah Pruett (Top Fuel) and Matt Hagan (Funny Car) bring their strong Direct Connection entries to the 2023 season opening event, the first of 21 rounds for the coveted NHRA Camping World World Championships.
The Dodge//SRT and Mopar duo enter their second campaign under the TSR banner, and Hagan returns as the event’s defending Funny Car champion with his nitro-burning Direct Connection Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The 2022 Gatornationals Funny Car triumph for Hagan was the first win for the TSR squad. Hagan recorded three additional NHRA national event victories in the team’s initial season.
Hagan and Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car Finish Third in NHRA Championship
Pedregon Powers Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to Win at NHRA Finals
Pomona, CA – In their first year competing in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series, Tony Stewart Racing with driver Matt Hagan at the wheel of his Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car were a championship contending team from the start of the season to this weekend’s 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals. Hitting the dragstrip with wins in three of the first eight national events, Hagan led the category through June, then took his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat into the NHRA’s “Countdown to the Championship” six-event playoff series where he proceeded to drive to three semifinal performances, a runner-up finish, and the team’s fourth win of the season.
Hagan qualified third for the season finale with the slim possibility remaining of sneaking past fellow championship contenders Robert Hight and Ron Capps in the points by wheeling his Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat to a final elimination appearance. In the opening round Hagan had the quicker start against No. 14 seed Steven Densham but suddenly lost traction early in the run. While Hagan tried to regain control, his opponent continued past to take the round win and ultimately ended his hopes of battling for a fourth world title.
After a runner-up finish in the championship to Capps last year, and his third world title win in 2020, Hagan closes out the 2022 season among the top-three in the Funny Car standings for a fourth straight year that also marked the tenth consecutive season with at least three wins.
Hagan Drives Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car Into Three-Way Battle for Championship Crown at NHRA Finals
Pomona, CA – Race day at the 57th annual Auto Club National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Finals may offer up a very exciting end to Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) first season in drag racing competition as Matt Hagan qualified his Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car No. 3 for eliminations and, with three win lights and a little luck, could end up battling for a Wally trophy and the 2022 NHRA World Championship in the final round of the season.
There are certainly plenty of scenarios that could play out on race day for the points-and-a-half finale at the legendary Auto Club Raceway at Pomona but should current class leader Robert Hight falter in the first two rounds while the Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car drives to a final elimination appearance, the world championship title for Hagan and TSR remains a possibility.
The three-time Funny Car World Champion’s best run of the weekend came in Friday’s second session with a 3.844-second elapsed time run at 323.58 mph to put him third on the elimination ladder and earn four of his five total qualifying bonus points. While he wasn’t able to amass enough extra points to put him within two rounds (or less than 60 points) of Hight as No. 1 Qualifier Capps (57 points behind) had done, the good news is that both of Hagan’s opponents are on the opposite side of the eliminations ladder, giving the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver a chance to contend for the crown by advancing to the final round.
Hagan Ready to Drive Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat Into Fight for Funny Car World Championship at NHRA Finals
Auburn Hills, MI – While their first season competing in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series draws to a close at the upcoming 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals, Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) and driver Matt Hagan aren’t easing up on the throttle as the Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car remains in contention for the world championship heading into the final event of the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Hagan began the year by driving his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the winner’s circle in three of the first eight national events of TSR’s inaugural season, including his first career Gatornationals victory, and led the Funny Car points standings until the halfway point of the season. His playoff performance through five of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship events included three semifinals followed by back-to-back final rounds appearances to stay in the hunt.
His win at the penultimate race of the season, the Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, kept the team’s Funny Car title hopes alive by putting Hagan within 63 points of the category leader Robert Hight and just two points behind reigning world champ Ron Capps heading into this weekend’s points-and-a-half NHRA Finals at the legendary Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
Hagan Muscles Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car to Nevada Nationals Win
Las Vegas, NV – From the No. 2 position on the eliminations ladder at the Nevada Nationals, Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver Matt Hagan muscled his Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car to the winner’s circle at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to earn a fourth win this season and his first of the playoffs to keep his first-year team in the hunt for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) World Championship.
“Congratulations to Matt Hagan for capturing an important win at the Nevada Nationals,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. “It was another outstanding effort by Matt and his Tony Stewart Racing crew to get the most performance out of their Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and take home their fourth victory this season. What a great representation of what performance enthusiasts can expect from the Dodge lineup of vehicles and Direct Connection performance parts.”
Hagan started his race day from second place spot on the eliminations ladder and with a little Vegas luck on his side against No. 15 seed Steven Densham. After his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat had the advantage on the start, it dropped some cylinders early but Hagan kept on the throttle until he lost power and coasted across the finish line with a slim 0.0032-second margin of victory to move on to the quarterfinals.
Hagan and Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car Qualify No. 2 at Nevada Nationals, the Penultimate Event of NHRA ‘Countdown to the Championship’
Las Vegas, NV – Just two race days remain in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) “Countdown to the Championship” and Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver Matt Hagan showed he is determined to stay in the heat of the battle for the Funny Car crown by qualifying his Dodge Power Brokers charger SRT Hellcat No. 2 for the 22nd annual Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the penultimate event of the six-race playoff series.
The three-time world champion sits third in the Funny Car standings going into Sunday’s elimination rounds after finishing runner-up to Ron Capps (second in points) at the previous race in Texas to put himself within 78 markers of the category leader Robert HIght heading into the weekend.
Following a pair of qualifying passes on Friday, the Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car was provisionally fifth after setting the third-best run of the first session with a 3.898-second lap at 333.25 mph to earn a bonus point. But Hagan, who has three wins (2017, 2019 and 2020) in the last five fall editions of the Las Vegas event, pressed even harder on Saturday to record a strong 3.862 sec./330.23 mph final qualifying run and earn three additional bonus points for the quickest pass of Q4. More importantly, that also put his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the No. 2 spot on the eliminations ladder behind Hight who leads Hagan by 83 points heading into race day. Hagan’s opening round opponent will be No. 15 seed Steven Densham.
Hagan Drives Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat from No. 1 Qualifier to First Final Round Appearance in NHRA ‘Countdown to the Championship’ at Texas FallNationals
Ennis, TX – Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Funny Car driver Matt Hagan qualified his Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat No. 1 then drove it to an important first final round appearance in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) “Countdown to the Championship” at the 37th annual Texas FallNationals at Texas Motorplex, the fourth of six playoff series events.
Hagan earned the top spot on the eliminations ladder and his sixth top qualifier honor of the season with an impressive second pass on Friday under the lights to set the Texas track record with a 3.825-second lap at 334.85 mph, the second-quickest Funny Car run of the 2022 season. The three-time Funny Car world champion entered the weekend 103 markers behind the category leader Robert Hight, but added nine valuable bonus points by registering all four of his runs among the top-three quickest of each session.
Hagan and his Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat headed into eliminations having cut the deficit to 98 points and disposed of No. 16 seed Terry Haddock and No. 8 Tim Wilkerson to advance to a fourth consecutive semifinal appearance in the Countdown and face-off against No. 4 seed Bob Tasca III.
Third Consecutive Semifinal Performance for Hagan and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in NHRA ‘Countdown to the Championship’ at MidWest Nationals
Madison, IL – It was a third consecutive semifinal result for Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver Matt Hagan and his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) “Countdown to the Championship” at the 11th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway, the third of six playoff series events.
Hagan, last year’s Funny Car event winner at the St. Louis area dragstrip, collected three bonus points in qualifying by recording the third best time on Friday, and then was second quickest in the final session with a best lap of 3.867 seconds at 335.48 mph to put the Baja Vida Snacks Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat fourth on the eliminations ladder.
An opening round win over No. 13 seed Jim Campbell set up a quarterfinal matchup with No. 5 qualifier Bob Tasca III, against whom Hagan earned his 20th round win at the NHRA Midwest Nationals, the most for any Funny Car at this event.
Hagan’s opponent for the important semifinal showdown was Funny Car points leader Robert Hight, against whom the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat had the advantage on the tree and maintained the lead to the halfway point, but while the two had a good side-by-side battle, Hagan (3.945/330.31) saw his opponent (3.913/327.59) slip past him to reach the stripe first.