AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —
- Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) closes out their first season in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series with driver this weekend Matt Hagan and the Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car compete for a championship at the 57th Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals
- The three-time Funny Car world champion has four wins and four runner-up appearances this year aboard his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat and remains in the fight for the championship crown en route to the season finale 63 points behind category leader Robert Hight and two behind reigning title holder Ron Capps
- Hagan advances to NHRA Finals for a shot at the Funny Car title for fourth consecutive season and ninth in 15 years
- TSR Top Fuel Pilot Leah Pruett seems to end her team’s challenging first year together on a positive note, adding to highlights such as a coveted win at the Dodge Power Brokers Mile-High Nationals in Denver and a No. 1 qualifying position at the Sonoma Nationals
As 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 Don’t step on the throttle as the Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car continues to compete for the World Championship en route to the final event of the Countdown to the Championship six-race playoffs.
Hagan started 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 Gatornationals win of his career, and led Funny Car’s standings through mid-season. . His playoff performance through five of the six NHRA Countdown to the Championship events includes three semifinals, followed by back-to-back finals rounds to stay in the hunt.
His win in the penultimate race of the season, the Nevada Nationals on The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, kept hopes of the team’s Funny Car title alive by bringing Hagan within 63 points of the category leader. Robert Hight and just two points behind reigning world champions Ron Capps heading into this weekend’s one and a half points NHRA final at the legendary Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
It’s familiar ground for Hagan, who is coming into the final race as a title contender for the fourth straight season after finishing second in the championship last season, taking the Funny Car crown in 2020 and finishing third in the overall standings in 2019. time NHRA world champion has driven a Dodge Funny Car into the top three eight times in 14 years.
To compete for the crown again on race day, Hagan must rack up all the extra bonus points he can in four qualifying sessions to get within two laps (or less than 60 points) of Hight. But whatever the outcome, Hagan is proud of what his TSR team has achieved and looks forward to building on this season’s achievements.
“It was an honor to drive for Tony Stewart Racing this year and I’m looking forward to next year as well,” said Hagan, who has earned four Wally trophies and four second-place finishes for TSR so far this year. “Obviously we’re on the hunt for TSR to win their first championship this weekend so that would be huge. It’s a tough battle and we need to come out swinging. We need to collect those small points to keep it under 60 (points) over two rounds to win.In 2010, when I was runner-up, all I had to do was show up and go two rounds to win.I got knocked out in the first round, so (John) Force won the championship. I’ve been on Robert’s (Hight’s) side and lost it, so that’s why we’re going out and digging deep to give ourselves a chance anyway. It is still very possible.
“I’m happy to be a part of it and look forward to what the future holds,” added Hagan. “I think we’ll be in the mix of things for a long time to come. We just have to keep pushing hard and turn on the victory lights and things will fall into place.”
TSR Top Fuel Pilot Leah Pruett and her Dodge Power Brokers dragster head to the last of 22 national events to finish their first year together at a high level. While she’s just outside the Top Fuel top 10 going in pomonathe team posted significant signings during the challenging season that saw Pruett as high as sixth in points in August.
Pruett made her sixth career appearance in the NHRA postseason after taking a memorable win at the Dodge Power Brokers Mile-High Nationals in Denver and took the No. 1 qualifying position at the Sonoma Nationals. The Denver victory was not only the highlight of her season, but also the perfect representation of the kind of year TSR has had.
“My most memorable moment of this season has to be a collage of moments from the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere,” says Pruett of her 10th career win. “Especially the first qualifier, where we were testing new components in our first mile-high race and ended up blowing the tires harder than we’ve ever had and were able to make immediate wholesale adjustments that put us on the map for now. number 1 place. there we worked on consistency. On race day we had a very powerful potluck of a well running race car, I was firmly in the tree, won a few pedal parties, with a bit of luck to finish the day in the winner’s circle. Our entire season of highs and lows could be illustrated in that one race and that’s why it’s so memorable, except it’s our first TSR Top Fuel Wally. “
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