Matt Hagan notched the third NHRA national event win of the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Sunday in his Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Haas Automotive Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car.
- Hagan, who qualified third, recorded his fifth Las Vegas victory of his career and second consecutive after winning last October in the Nevada Nationals
- In the final round Sunday, Hagan, seeking his fourth NHRA Camping World points championship, defeated Tim Wilkerson, John Force and Chad Green to score his 46th career NHRA “Wally” trophy
- The win for Hagan also extended his current point margin to 105 points
- Hagan’s TSR teammate, Leah Pruett, put in consistent runs all three days with strong qualifying passes and a first-round victory Sunday with 3.74, 3.75 and 3.77 times as well as 3.79 when she lost in a close second round race
- TSR team owner Tony Stewart also scored his first NHRA national win Sunday by driving to the Top Alcohol Dragster class title
- Cruz Pedregon recorded his second straight No. 1 Funny Car qualifying position Saturday with his Snap-On Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat with a time of 3.910 seconds
APRIL 16, 2023, LAS VEGAS – Matt Hagan continued his impressive 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing series performance Sunday at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Four-Wide Nationals with his third Funny Car win in four events in the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Haas Automotive Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.
Hagan, the three-time NHRA World Champion, qualified third in the 16-car field and advanced to the final round with solid, consistent runs of 3.997 and 3.968 seconds to set up a third finals appearance in the opening four races in 2023.
Competing against John Force, Tim Wilkerson and Chad Green in the final, Hagan posted a winning time of 3.943 at 326.79 m.p.h. for his 46thcareer Funny Car victory and extended his Funny Car points lead to 105 entering the next NHRA national event at Charlotte, NC., on April 28-30.
Hagan’s Funny Car victory was his second straight at the Strip after winning last October in the Nevada Nationals and his fifth Las Vegas triumph of his career. This is Hagan’s seventh win with Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) dating back to the 2022 Gatornationals.
“This is so special to share the winner’s circle with my boss, Tony Stewart, and his first NHRA national win too,” said Hagan after his third 2023 victory and Stewart’s first Top Alcohol Dragster win. “It’s funny because I never followed Tony’s oval racing career, and I actually had to look up his achievements when I talked with him about this new team.
“After he won here, he came to my car and said, ‘Now it’s your turn to win!’ Wow, I wasn’t feeling any pressure until then. But our crew, led by Dickie Venables, has been so good this year that I just needed to be good on the line. And that car ran strong to the finish.”
TSR team owner Stewart, a three-time NASCAR Cup champion, captured his first NHRA national event Sunday by taking the Top Alcohol Dragster victory. It was Stewart’s fourth race in NHRA national event competition. The Columbus, IN, driver has now won at all four Las Vegas Motor Speedway tracks in 1.5-mile oval, 3/8-mile Bullring, Half-mile dirt oval and the Strip.
“This is the most fun I have had in a long time,” said Stewart in victory lane with Hagan. “Matt and his crew are doing a tremendous job with three wins already and Leah’s (Pruett, Hagan’s TSR teammate and Stewart’s wife) crew has been outstanding in this early portion of the season. Yes, it is exciting to win my first NHRA national event, but the double is very special today.”
Pruett, the 10-time NHRA national winner, recorded a solid showing in qualifying to place fifth entering Sunday’s eliminations with her Code 3 Associates Dodge//SRT Mopar Top Fuel dragster with runs of 3.746, 3.747 and 3.753. In Sunday’s competition, Leah posted a 3.779 to win against three other drivers before falling in the second round with a 3.798 to eventual winner Antron Brown and Brittany Force.
“Our team did a great job all weekend here in Las Vegas,” said Pruett, now fifth in the NHRA Camping World Top Fuel point standings. “We ran great times in the heat and the track was getting tricky. But Neal Strausbaugh and his crew really gave me a solid, strong car in every run here at the Strip. They work so hard for me and our sponsors. I’m pleased with the momentum we are making. Both Antron and Brittany are World Champions, and we ran right with them. So, we may have lost that round, but we were so close to advancing to the next one. We had a very positive weekend.”
Cruz Pedregon, a four-time winner at the Strip, recorded his second consecutive NHRA Camping World Funny Car pole position Saturday in the qualifying rounds for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Pedregon, took his Snap-On Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat machine to a time of 3.910 seconds to pace the 16-car Funny Car field.
@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel continues to share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers on the track. Fans can seeaction 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 siteincludes daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. For more information, visit www.dodgegarage.com.
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NHRA Dodge Mopar Leah Pruett Hagan TSR