Leah Pruett Advances to Semi-Finals in Top Fuel in Her Lone 2024 Race
Auburn Hills, MI – Reigning and defending NHRA Mission Foods World Funny Car champion Matt Hagan drove his Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Johnson Horsepowered Garage Dodge//SRT® Hellcat machine to the runner-up spot Saturday in the inaugural SCAG Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
Hagan, the four-time NHRA World Funny Car champion, kicked off his 2024 drag racing campaign by winning two rounds of action under sunny Florida skies and advancing to the final round against rookie Funny Car racer Austin Prock, who replaced Hagan’s arch-rival Robert Hight in the John Force Racing car.
Hagan, who scored six NHRA national event wins in 2024, defeated J.R. Todd in the first round and Bob Tasca III in the semi-finals to go against Prock in the final round. Unfortunately, Hagan, who had a quicker reaction time, ran a 3.872 to Prock’s 3.845 and lost by a close margin.
Despite the final round defeat, Hagan was upbeat after the event as his TSR Dodge/SRT Funny Car team had some solid testing runs as they prepared for the Amalie NHRA Gatornationals set for March 8-10 in Gainesville, Fla., in the opening 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series event.
Tony Stewart Racing Dodge//SRT Drag Racing Duo Pruett and Hagan Ready for Return to Track in Special PRO Superstar Shootout
Auburn Hills, MI – With Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Top Fuel and Funny Car squads returning to the track for the team’s 2024 debut, drivers Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan have the coveted $250,000 top prize in their minds for the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Super Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage this week (Feb. 8-10) in Bradenton, Fla.
The new season-opening event brings together the top professional drag racers for the largest single pro race payout in drag racing history and Pruett and Hagan come back to the drag strip after finishing the 2023 national tour in impressive fashion. Hagan captured his fourth NHRA World Funny Car championship in the TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT® Hellcat, and Pruett came within one round of winning the prestigious NHRA Top Fuel title in her TSR Dodge//SRT Direct Connection dragster.
For Pruett, the PRO Superstar Shootout will be her lone Top Fuel appearance in 2024 as she and husband Tony Stewart plan to start a family this year. Pruett will continue to be an important element to the TSR operation, serving as driving coach and strategist throughout the drag racing season.
Teammate Pruett Takes Direct Connection Top Fueler to Pomona Final
Pomona, CA – Matt Hagan joined drag racing royalty Sunday at the NHRA In-N- Out Burger Finals when he secured his fourth career NHRA Camping World Funny Car championship in the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat machine.
Hagan, a six-time NHRA national event winner this year, joined legends John Force, Don Prudhomme and Kenny Bernstein as the only four-time Funny Car World Champions with his second-round finish in the final race in the 21-event NHRA national tour.
Leah Pruett, Hagan’s TSR teammate, nearly made it a “double up” TSR Dodge//SRT championship for the Direct Connection team when she advanced to the final round against Doug Kalitta in a “winner takes the title” finale. Unfortunately, Pruett was defeated by Kalitta, 3.673 to a 3.720, earning the runner-up spot in the TSR Dodge//SRT Direct Connection Top Fuel dragster.
Hagan entered the season-ending race in Pomona, California, with a 15-point lead in the “Countdown” for the Funny Car title. After qualifying fourth (3.869 seconds) in the 16-car field, Hagan defeated Alex Laughlin in the opening round and lost a wild second round matchup with Blake Alexander in which both drivers smoked the tires. With his chief challengers – Bob Tasca III and Robert Hight – also losing in the second-round, Hagan notched his fourth World title and first for Tony Stewart Racing.
Dodge//SRT Racers Hagan and Pruett Set to Chase Coveted NHRA Titles in Funny Car, Top Fuel at NHRA Pomona Finale
Auburn Hills, MI – Every NHRA professional driver seeks one goal when the season opens in March at the NHRA Gatornationals, and that is to be in contention for a coveted NHRA Camping World Series Championship at season’s end.
After 20 events in the 2023 campaign, Dodge//SRT racers Matt Hagan and Leah Pruett are in those vaunted positions as the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) pair come to the NHRA finale this weekend (Nov. 10-12) in the NHRA In-N-Out Burger Finals.
For Hagan, racing for a World Championship is nothing new, having captured three NHRA Funny Car titles in 2011, 2014 and 2020. The driver of the TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Car is right where he wants to be entering this weekend’s event, leading the class by 15 points.
Hagan has had plenty of success at the famed Pomona, California, dragstrip throughout his career, with eight NHRA Funny Car victories, including last April in the NHRA Winternationals.
TSR Dodge//SRT NHRA Funny Car Driver Hagan Advances to Vegas Semifinals, Maintains Points Lead; Teammate Pruett Third in Top Fuel Points After Close First-round Exit
Las Vegas, NV – Three-time NHRA World Champion Matt Hagan missed) advancing to his third straight Funny Car final by inches (.009 seconds) in his Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat at the NHRA Nevada Nationals on Sunday Despite the semifinals exit, Hagan continues to lead the NHRA Camping World Funny Car points standings entering the final race of the 21-event national tour at the NHRA In-N-Out Burger Finals on Nov. 10 -12 in Pomona, California.
Hagan, seeking his third consecutive NHRA national win, won two rounds of competition in very cold 50-60 degree temperatures and windy conditions Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before losing to Bob Tasca III in the semifinals with a 3.901 to Tasca’s 3.886. Hagan’s brilliant 0.049 starting line light held the lead over Tasca for most of the 1,000-foot track before being nipped at the finish line. Hagan holds a 15-point margin over Tasca in the standings and 17 markers over the third-place Robert Hight .
Hagan, who qualified third at a 3.871 on Friday with support from his Dickie Venables-led TSR crew, entered Sunday’s eliminations with two straight NHRA victories at St. Louis and Dallas and had also captured wins at the last two Las Vegas events, last October in the Nevada Nationals and last April in the Four-Wide Nationals.
Dodge//SRT Drivers Pruett, Hagan Head to Las Vegas After Texas Wins, Look to Extend NHRA Top Fuel, Funny Car Points Leads
Auburn Hills, MI – Dodge//SRT racers Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan are on a roll right now in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series following impressive Top Fuel and Funny Car victories at the recent Texas NHRA Fallnationals race. The pair will look for some “Sin City” luck this weekend (Oct. 27-29) at the NHRA Nevada Nationals in Las Vegas, the penultimate event in the 21-race NHRA national drag racing tour, as the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) teammates currently lead the Top Fuel and Funny Car points standings with their Sublime Direct Connection Dodge//SRT nitro machines.
Pruett holds a four-point lead in the Top Fuel points with her TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT dragster, while running mate Hagan jumped to the No. 1 spot in Funny Car by 36 markers in his TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat as they seek to repeat their Texas “double-up.”
Hagan also looks for his third consecutive NHRA race win this weekend following victories at St. Louis and Texas, while Pruett is seeking a third-straight final round appearance and second consecutive win. In addition, Hagan goes after his 50th NHRA career win and second straight Las Vegas triumph, having won the Funny Car category at the Four-Wide Nationals event in Vegas in April.
Pruett, Hagan Double Up with Victories at Texas NHRA Fallnationals, TSR Dodge//SRT Drivers Take Points Leads
ENNIS, TX – Team owner Tony Stewart described his NHRA Nitro team’s performance as a great “double up” as drivers Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan drove their Dodge//SRT machines to the winner’s circle in the Texas NHRA Fallnationals at the Texas Motorplex.
It marked the first “double” victory for Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) since the team was established in 2022 as Pruett took top honors in the Top Fuel category and Hagan captured the win in the Funny Car division.
With two races remaining at Las Vegas and Pomona, California, in the “Countdown to the Championship,” both Pruett and Hagan have vaulted to their respective class points leads. Pruett holds a four-point margin over Doug Kalitta, while Hagan leads by 36 markers over Bob Tasca III.
Both drivers and their crews put in sensational performances on race day with Pruett clocking consistent runs of 3.678, 3.697, 3.681 and 3.684, while Hagan posted passes of 3.895, 3.868, 3.875 and 3.883.
Pawuk, Johnson Drive Dodge Challenger Drag Cars to Factory Stock, Factory X Victories at NHRA Midwest Nationals
MADISON, IL – It was a large Dodge//SRT celebration in the victory lane Sunday at the NHRA Midwest Nationals with wins in Funny Car, Factory Stock Showdown and Factory X at World Wide Technology Raceway for a trio of racers competing in Dodge drag cars.
In addition to Matt Hagan’s Funny Car victory in his TSR Dodge//SRT Hellcat, veterans Mark Pawuk and Allen Johnson drove their Dodge Challenger machines to the winner’s circle with impressive performances in the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown and Factory X classes, respectively.
Both drivers dominated the competition Sunday with Pawuk capturing his first Factory Stock Showdown event with low elapsed time and top speed in the FSS category and Johnson breaking the 200 mile per hour barrier for the first time in the Factory X class.
Pawuk, a six-time NHRA Pro Stock national event winner, opened the weekend by posting a 7.712 pass for his fourth career No. 1 qualifying position in Factory Stock Showdown and continued that performance in the five rounds of eliminations with wins over Conner Statler, Del Holbrook, Aaron Stanfield and Stephen Bell.
Midwest Nationals, Teammate Pruett Races to Runner-up Finish
MADISON, IL – In the race shop this week in Brownsburg, Ind., the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Nitro teams made a decision to become more aggressive in the final four races in the NHRA Camping World drag racing series. That theory proved successful this weekend at the NHRA Midwest Nationals, with Dodge//SRT racers Matt Hagan and Leah Pruett racing to an event win and runner-up finish, respectively.
After losing races by inches at the Reading and Charlotte events the past two weeks, TSR Dodge//SRT drivers Hagan and Pruett made their presence known for the coveted points championships with sensational performances in the hot temperatures and a tricky track surface at the World Wide Technology Raceway drag strip near St. Louis.
For Hagan and his Dickie Venables-led crew, the NHRA Midwest Nationals was an important round in the six-race “Countdown to the Championship” with the driver of the TSR American Rebel Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Car knowing a victory Sunday would put him back in the chase for his fourth NHRA World title.
After qualifying fifth in the 16-car field, Hagan drove his 11,000-horspower Dodge//SRT Hellcat past Alexis DeJoria, John Force and Bob Tasca III in early rounds before facing reigning World Champion Ron Capps in the final. Hagan posted the best reaction time of the day (0.029) to leave the starting line ahead of Capps and was never headed with a winning 3.991 run to Capps’ 4.025.
Hagan, Pruett Advance in NHRA Carolina Nationals to Semifinals, Both Set in Top 4 in NHRA “Countdown” Championship Points
For the second consecutive week in the NHRA Camping World drag racing series, Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) drivers Matt Hagan and Leah Pruett looked to be on the path to victory lane Sunday in the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway. But, for the second consecutive week, both racers were on the wrong end of the battles by inches.
Hagan, who posted a track record Friday in qualifying with a 3.825, drove his Johnson Horsepower Garage Dodge//SRT Hellcat to sensational times throughout the weekend including a 3.828, 3.841 and 3.868 in the opening round victory against John Smith. He defeated Tim Wilkerson in the second round before taking on Bob Tasca III in the semifinal.
In that matchup, Hagan cut a tremendous 0.054 starting line light and held the advantage in the first 800 feet before losing by inches (0.006 seconds) at the finish line with a 3.953 to Tasca’s 3.935. Despite the loss, Hagan advanced to the No. 3 position in the NHRA Championship “Countdown” Funny Car points standings with the next event set for Sept. 29-Oct. 1 in NHRA Midwest Nationals in Madison, Ill.