Hagan Extends Funny Car Points Lead with Semifinals Run at Sonoma; Pruett Remains in Top Fuel Top 5 points standings

  • Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) Matt Hagan extended his current NHRA Camping World Funny Car points lead Sunday by driving his Johnson Horsepower Garage Dodge//SRT Hellcat to the semifinals at the DENSO Sonoma Nationals
  • Hagan, a four-time NHRA national event winner in 2023, defeated Jason Rupert and Tim Wilkerson before losing a close race to eventual race winner J.R. Todd in the semifinals
  • Hagan, the three-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion, now holds a 19-point lead entering the next NHRA tour event, the Menards NHRA Nationals Presented By PetArmor in Topeka, Kansas
  • Leah Pruett lost a very tight race to Shawn Langdon in the opening round of eliminations Sunday with her TSR Rayce Rudeen Foundation Dodge//SRT Top Fuel dragster
  • Despite the first-round defeat, Pruett remains in the Top-5  in the NHRA Camping World Top Fuel points standings heading to Topeka on Aug. 11-13
  • Follow Dodge in NHRA action at DodgeGarage.com

JULY 30, 2023, SONOMA, Calif.– Four-time 2023 NHRA Camping World Funny Car race winner Matt Hagan looked to be on a path to a fifth victory Sunday at Sonoma Raceway in the annual DENSO NHRA Sonoma Nationals driving his Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Johnson Horsepower Garage Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Car.

Hagan, the three-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion, took his Dodge//SRT Hellcat to a semifinal finish and extended his current points lead to 19 markers as the NHRA Camping World drag racing series heads to Topeka, Kan., for the Menards NHRA Nationals Presented by PetArmor on Aug. 11-13.

Hagan, who has captured the Gatornationals, Winternationals, Four-Wide Nationals and Mile-High Nationals already this year, qualified fifth in the Funny Car field at Sonoma and defeated Jason Rupert with a 3.997 and Seattle winner Tim Wilkerson with a 3.955 for the quickest run of the second round.

However, in the semifinal battle against J.R. Todd, Hagan came up on the losing end with 3.999 to Todd’s 3.965. Todd went on to win the Funny Car class Sunday at Sonoma.

“The big takeaway from the weekend is that we were able to maintain number one in the point standings and extend the lead on (Ron) Capps,” said Hagan. “ We had a good car and were making adjustments to it as it got hotter and hotter. Overall, I think the Western Swing was still successful. The win in Denver was big for us and Dodge, and now making it to the semifinals here, we walk away with a good attitude and the points lead.

“With three races to go before the Countdown, hopefully everyone else is running out of races to catch us. We still need to add more of a cushion (in points). There are no easy draws nowadays. Everyone is so tough. You have to bring it every time and bring a little more than you think you have to. It takes that every time to turn on a win light.”

Hagan’s TSR teammate, Leah Pruett, drove her Rayce Rudeen Foundation Dodge//SRT dragster to a tough first round loss with an extremely close finish to former NHRA World Champion Shawn Langdon, who won by a slim 0.0246 seconds holeshot advantage and a 3.755 to Pruett’s 3.746.  .

Pruett remains in the top-5 in the current NHRA Camping World Top Fuel points standings as she seeks a solid position with three races on the NHRA schedule before the “Countdown” for the Championship begins Sept. 14-17 in the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Reading, Pa.

“It stings losing on a holeshot,” said Pruett. “I gave it my absolute all and gave our Rayce Rudeen Foundation dragster the best chance it had. Both lanes are great. For my crew chiefs, they’re working really hard to get this car right and I’m working hard at getting me right. A driver should have confidence in their crew chiefs and Neal Strausbaugh (crew chief) and Mike Domagala (co-crew chief) have worked very hard. Conditions are tough in the heat on race day. They’ve done a phenomenal job. I’m blessed to be able to race for them. We’ll be ready for Topeka now.”

The Menards NHRA Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park will have nitro qualifying beginning on Friday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m. CDT followed by two qualifying rounds on Saturday, Aug. 12, at 3 p.m. CDT and 5:30 p.m. CDT. Sunday’s final eliminations start at 11 a.m. CDT.

The Menards NHRA Nationals will be televised on Fox Sports 1 with qualifying on Saturday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. EDT with final eliminations shown Sunday, Aug. 13, at 3 p.m. EDT.

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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.

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NHRA Dodge Mopar Leah Pruett Hagan TSR