69th Annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA US Nationals – Drag Racing’s ‘Big Go’ – Brings Prestige, Money and Tradition

Matt Hagan
  • The 69th annual Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals is the biggest, longest and most historic event on the NHRA national tour, established in 1955, and is set for Aug. 30-Sept. 4
  • The legendary “Big Go” brings prestige, money and tradition to Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, the most famous drag strip in the world
  • Winning the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals puts current racers’ names on a list of legends, such as “Big Daddy” Don Garlits
  • Leading the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Nitro Dodge//SRT Direct Connection effort into this year’s event will be three-time NHRA Camping World Funny Car champion Matt Hagan with the potent TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat after notching four NHRA national event wins in 2023
  • Hagan is a three-time Indianapolis race winner as well as a four-time No. 1 qualifier
  • Hagan’s TSR teammate Leah Pruett, driving the Dodge//SRT Direct Connection Top Fuel dragster, comes to Indianapolis after a win at Norwalk and runner-up finish at Brainerd
  • Follow Dodge in NHRA action at DodgeGarage.com

August 28, 2023 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Every drag racer and team mark their “bucket list” for victories in their career. And at the top of that list is the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals, scheduled to take place on Aug. 30 – Sept. 4 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.

The U.S. Nationals, known for decades as the “Big Go,” is the “Granddaddy” of the straight-line sport as the biggest, longest running, richest and most prestigious event. Dating back to 1955, the greatest names in drag racing have converged on the U.S. Nationals with legends like “Big Daddy” Don Garlits taking “Wally” trophies in the classic event.

“You look at the NHRA national event schedule before each season and mark the most important races to win,” said Matt Hagan, three-time NHRA Camping World Funny Car champion. “And you always list Indy as No. 1. Of course, racing for Dodge, Direct Connection and Tony Stewart Racing, the Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals should be at the top of our list. Winning Indy is our ultimate NHRA victory.”

Hagan, the 40-year-old driver from Christiansburg, Va., comes to the U.S. Nationals as one of the favorites after scoring four NHRA national event wins already this year in his TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat and hopes to add to his total when nitro qualifying begins on Friday, Sept. 1. Hagan earlier this year captured the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals win in Denver and will attempt to score a sweep of the Dodge-sponsored NHRA events in 2023.

The personable racer has won three times at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park and qualified No. 1 on four occasions, and this year’s ‘Big Go” is important as it concludes the early portion of the 21-race campaign before the final six races determine the Countdown to the Championship.

“We have led the Funny Car points for most of the season,” Hagan said. “But now we are 21 points from first and we definitely want to have the top spot after Indy. The points are readjusted for the final six races, and I’d like to be back in the lead entering the Countdown. I think Dickie (Venables, crew chief) and our guys are ready for the challenge at Indy with the five qualifying runs, the All-Star Callout race and Monday’s finals. We slipped a bit at Brainerd, but we are prepared to win the Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals.”

Hagan, the U.S. Nationals record holder at 3.799 seconds and 338.77 mph, will first take to the strip when action gets underway on Friday, Sept. 1. The Pep Boys All-Star Funny Car Callout is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 3.

Hagan’s TSR teammate Leah Pruett, who currently ranks fifth in the NHRA Camping World Top Fuel points standings, seeks her first U.S. Nationals Top Fuel title in the TSR Dodge//SRT Direct Connection dragster and enters this weekend’s event after a strong runner-up performance last week at Brainerd, Minn.

Matt Hagan on the throttle at Brainerd
Matt Hagan on the throttle at Brainerd

Pruett, who captured this year’s Summit Nationals at Norwalk, Ohio, took out some of the sport’s biggest names – former NHRA World Champions Tony Schumacher, Brittany Force and current Top Fuel points leader Justin Ashley – in the Menards NHRA Nationals before just missing victory lane against three-time World Champion Antron Brown in a close final round contest.

The 11-time NHRA Top Fuel national event winner believes her TSR crew, led by Neal Strausbaugh, is prepared for a strong U.S. Nationals showing this weekend after producing an impressive Brainerd performance with consistent times of 3.73, 3.75 (three times), 3.77 and 3.82 in making her third final round of the NHRA 2023 season.

“I feel very confident coming into the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals with our TSR Dodge//SRT Direct Connection team,” said Pruett. “We showed that the Direct Connection dragster can run with the best after our winning hits (runs) at Brainerd. We had a tough road to get to the final round against three former World Champions and the current points leader. We knew our work was cut out for us.

“Our focus is on propelling this momentum built from being extremely thorough and diligent, from the parts to the tune-up, and digging even deeper into where we can improve. Indy is the biggest race of the year for a driver and team. And you need everything working well to get that Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals Wally. I know that is our goal.”

The Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at the Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park will feature five nitro qualifying sessions on Friday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. CDT followed by two qualifying rounds on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. CDT and Sunday, Sept. 3 at 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. CDT. The final eliminations will begin Monday, Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. CDT.

The Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals will be televised on Fox Sports 1 with qualifying round 1 on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 11:30 a.m. EDT and qualifying round 2 on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 5:30 p.m. EDT. The Funny Car All-Star Callout will be shown on FOX Network on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 4 p.m. EDT.

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@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel continues to share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers on the track. Fans can see action from the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series and NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers, competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.

DodgeGarage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow all the NHRA action this season at DodgeGarage, the one-stop portal for Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag-racing news. The site includes daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. For more information, visit www.dodgegarage.com.

For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge. Their influence continues today as Dodge shifts into high gear with a lineup that delivers unrivaled performance in each of the segments where they compete.

Dodge drives forward as a pure performance brand, offering SRT Hellcat versions of the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Dodge Durango, as well as an R/T performance hybrid version of the all-new Dodge Hornet, representing the brand’s first-ever electrified performance vehicle. Dodge delivers the dragstrip dominating 807-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock; the 797-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Redeye, the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world; and the 710-horsepower Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, the most powerful SUV ever; and best-in-class standard performance in the compact utility vehicle segment with the Dodge Hornet. Combined, these four muscle vehicles make Dodge the industry’s most powerful brand, offering more horsepower than any other American brand across its entire lineup.

Dodge is part of the portfolio of brands offered by leading global automaker and mobility provider Stellantis. For more information regarding Stellantis (NYSE: STLA), visit www.stellantis.com.

Mopar is the global name for Stellantis genuine parts and authentic accessories.

A simple combination of the words MOtor and PARts, Mopar offers exceptional service, parts and customer-care. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, Mopar has evolved over 85 years to represent both complete vehicle care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.

Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era with performance parts to enhance speed and handling for both on-road and racing use. Later, Mopar expanded to include technical service and customer support, and today integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.

Complete information on Mopar is available at www.mopar.com and the newly redesigned Mopar blog at blog.mopar.com. For more information regarding Stellantis (NYSE: STLA), please visit www.stellantis.com.

Follow Dodge, Mopar and Stellantis news and video on:
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NHRA Dodge Mopar Leah Pruett Hagan TSR