Pre-Race Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals

You’re coming off of a win at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals in Denver. What momentum does that give you heading into Seattle?

“After winning in Denver, the momentum coming into Seattle is huge. We’re down a crew guy and my guys stepped up and really made it happen. Even though we had a lot of adversity in Denver with Josh (Munoz) out, everyone did what they needed to do to turn four win lights on. Denver is one of the most challenging places there are to race at, so it just shows what our group is capable of.”

Seattle is the second race of the Western Swing and the halfway point of the season. Going into this race what are the short-term and long-term goals with five races remaining in the regular season until the Countdown?

“It’s crazy to think there are only five races remaining before we hit the Countdown. This is probably the best I’ve felt about our car and everything else moving forward. Our short-term goals are to win these next two races to sweep the swing because it’s something I’ve never done before. Long-term, we need to be ready for the Countdown. You have to win at least two or three of those races to be in the hunt for the Championship. We’re capable of doing that. I’m excited and pumped up. We’re on a high right now. We did everything we needed to do in Denver. I earned my 50th career number one qualifier. We won the race on my mom’s birthday weekend. It was a great weekend for Dodge, so we couldn’t have asked for more. We’ll carry that to the next couple races coming up and see what we can do.”

  • The Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington, marks the second stop of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ three-week long Western Swing. The previous event of the Western Swing was the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals July 14-16 at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado. The DENSO NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway will follow Seattle July 28-30. The Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals is the 11th event on the NHRA’s 21-race calendar.
  • Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) brings its two fulltime entries – one in Top Fuel for 11-time Top Fuel winner Leah Pruett and one in Funny Car for three-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan. Hagan delivered TSR’s fifth victory of the season, his fourth, in the prior event at Bandimere Speedway, driving his Dodge Direct Connection Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car to his 47th career victory in the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals. It marked the final NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series event at Thunder Mountain after 43 years.
  • Coming into Seattle, Pruett is currently third in the Top Fuel standings, 105 points behind leader Justin Ashley. Hagan is leading the Funny Car standings, 45 points ahead of Ron Capps.
  • Direct Connection is the primary partner of Pruett and Hagan this weekend in Seattle. With muscle car enthusiasts looking for “ready to run” parts, Direct Connection serves as the source for high-performance parts and technical expertise straight from the factory. The Top Fuel Dragster and Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car are featured in Sublime green. Sublime was first introduced during the 1970 model year. The Dodge Charger and Challenger, in current form, are coming to an end after this year. Dodge is bringing back the iconic color for consumers to bring nostalgia to the highways and purchase their own commemorative last call vehicle.
  • In the first race of the Western Swing, TSR delivered, and the Funny Car team completed the Mile-High sweep. Hagan won the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA Mile-High Nationals to collect his second Wally at Bandimere. Hagan also secured the No. 1 qualifying position for the fourth time at Thunder Mountain and won his first Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge of the season in three appearances. Hagan’s No. 1 qualifying position marked the 50th No. 1 start of his career. He becomes the 19th different pro driver with as many as 50 No. 1 starts. Hagan is the fourth Funny Car driver to reach that milestone after John Force (165), Robert Hight (79) and Cruz Pedregon (62).
  • Hagan, this will be his 322nd career Funny Car start and his 13th at the track.
  • Hagan won the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals in 2013. His 4.171 ET at 294.75 mph run defeated Bob Tasca III (5.324 ET at 164.81 mph). Hagan also has one No. 1 qualifier at the event, which came in 2018 (3.913 ET at 324.75 mph).
  • Hagan’s crew chief, Dickie Venables, earned his first career victory as a solo crew chief at Pacific Raceways in 2002 with John Force Racing and driver Tony Pedregon, when the crew chief of record, (John Medlen), was sidelined with medical issues and was unable to make the trip.
  • DYK? The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series is making their second stop of the Western Swing in Seattle for the first time. The Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals was previously the final stop of the Western Swing with the DENSO NHRA Sonoma Nationals the second stop in the past.