Leah Pruett, driving the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Dodge//SRT Direct Connection Top Fuel dragster, returned to an NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series final round Sunday in the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota
- Pruett, making her 200th NHRA Top Fuel start, defeated two NHRA Top Fuel World Champions and the current Top Fuel points leader enroute to the final round against Antron Brown at Brainerd International Raceway
- After rounds wins over Tony Schumacher, Brittany Force and Justin Ashley, Pruett was nipped for her 12th Top Fuel national event win with former World Champion Brown’s 3.715 to Leah’s 3.757
- Entering the Dodge//SRT Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals, Pruett is currently fifth in the Top Fuel point standings and seeks to lock a position for the “Championship Countdown” which features the top-ten drivers in points
- Matt Hagan, the four-time 2023 NHRA Funny Car race winner, suffered a first-round loss Sunday at Brainerd when his TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat smoked the tires against David Richards
- Hagan, looking for his fourth NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship, now sits second in the current NHRA Funny Car points standings, 21 markers out of the lead
- Hagan qualified third at a 3.910 pass Friday night and advanced to the final in Saturday’s Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge where he finished runner-up and picked up two additional points
- The “Super Bowl” of drag racing, the 68th Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals, is next on the NHRA Camping World Series schedule on Sept. 1-4
- The Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals is the biggest, the longest and the most historic event on the NHRA national tour, established in 1955
- Follow Dodge in NHRA action at DodgeGarage.com
AUGUST 20, 2023, BRAINERD, Minn. – Leah Pruett, driving the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Dodge//SRT Direct Connection dragster in her 200th NHRA Top Fuel start, fought her way through a tough Top Fuel field to take the runner-up finish in Sunday’s Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
Pruett, winner of this year’s Summit Nationals at Norwalk, Ohio, was seeking her 12th career Top Fuel national victory as she defeated former NHRA World Champions Tony Schumacher, Brittany Force and current Top Fuel points leader Justin Ashley in reaching the coveted final round against Antron Brown.
After qualifying fifth with a 3.777, Pruett clocked consistent runs Sunday with a 3.820 against Schumacher, 3.750 against Force and 3.733 opposite Ashley. In the final round, it was a close race with Brown’s 3.715 to Leah’s 3.757.
Pruett’s third final round appearance of the year moved her closer to clinching a position in the “Countdown to the Championship” which features the top-ten Top Fuel drivers in points battling for the NHRA title in the final six events of the 2023 campaign. Leah currently holds the fifth spot in Top Fuel points.
“What a race day for this Dodge//SRT Direct Connection team starting from the fifth spot,” said Pruett. “We competed against three world champions and the current points leader, so we had our work cut out for us today. We were able to execute and turn on three ‘win’ lights, but unfortunately just didn’t have enough from the starting line to the finish line to beat Antron (Brown).
“I’m stoked that we get to be in the final Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge of the season in Indy, which allows us to capitalize on race mode while qualifying. We definitely do not have our heads down, even though we could taste this Brainerd win. Our original plan no matter what was to test here in Brainerd on Monday in preparation for the Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’ll service our Hemi’s and parts, analyze today’s wins and shortcomings. We’ll be ready for Indy!”
In the NHRA Funny Car division, Matt Hagan, seeking his fourth NHRA Camping World championship in the TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat, suffered a rare first-round loss Sunday to David Richards when Hagan’s nitro-burning machine lost traction.
Hagan now ranks second in the NHRA Funny Car points standings, just 21 points behind leader Ron Capps, and he is now headed to the 68th Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals, the ‘Super Bowl of Drag Racing” established in 1955.
In Brainerd qualifying, Hagan ranked third at a 3.910 pass on Friday and advanced to the final round in Saturday’s Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge for top Funny Car qualifiers where he finished runner-up and picked up two additional points.
“It was obviously a very tough weekend,” Hagan said. “The points will not be great for us this weekend, having not gotten out of first round. We’ve got to move forward. We are better than that. You are going to have a couple of hiccups along the way and, unfortunately, this is one of them. We are going to dig deep and figure out what we did wrong. It stops with us as a team, and we are going to work harder. We want to be prepared for Indy now.”
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.
The final eliminations for the 68th edition of the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals are scheduled to be televised on Fox Sports 1 on Monday, Sept. 4, at 12 p.m. EDT and 2 p.m. EDT on the FOX Network.
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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.
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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.
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