Pre-Race NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Charlotte

After a strong weekend advancing to the Finals at the last Four-Wide Nationals event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, how much confidence does that give you heading into another four-wide event?

“The four-wides are still the four-wides and you never know what you’re going to get. Even though we went to the Final at Vegas, we still finished fourth. Tony (Stewart) said he likes to lick his chops and likes the four-wide races. I would prefer to run two-wides. We know how to win them, lose them, and everything in between. They’re always interesting and always a show for the fans, which is all that matters.”

Charlotte is considered one of your home races. How special will it be having guests from your family dealership, Shelor Motor Mile, visit the track?

“It’s good to have a lot of friends and family out at the track. There are a lot of Matt Hagan t-shirts running around out there. It gets you pumped up to go rounds. I hope we can put on a good show for the people that have been supporting me my whole life. The four-wides are tough racing. It’s a dog fight every round and you love that level of competition.”

  • The NHRA Four-Wide Nationals near Charlotte, North Carolina, is the fifth event on the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series’ 20-race calendar in 2024. Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) brings its two full-time entries – one in Top Fuel for Top Fuel rookie Tony Stewart and one in Funny Car for 49-time Funny Car winner and four-time champion Matt Hagan. Hagan and Stewart each advanced to the Finals in their respective nitro categories at the previous event, the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas.
  • Coming into Charlotte, Stewart is sixth in the Top Fuel standings, 145 points behind leader Justin Ashley. Hagan is currently fourth in the Funny Car standings, 106 points behind leader Austin Prock.
  • Hagan needs just one win to become the 17th pro driver with 50 tour victories. John Force, Robert Hight and Ron Capps currently are the only Funny Car drivers to have reached that plateau. Hagan has won at least three tour events for 11 consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.
  • Direct Connection is the primary partner of Hagan and Stewart this weekend in Charlotte. 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 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will mark Stewart’s fifth career Top Fuel start. It’ll be his first overall Top Fuel start at Charlotte and his first in the Four-Wide Nationals. For Hagan, the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will be his 337th career Funny Car start. It’ll be his 25th overall start at Charlotte and his 13th in the Four-Wide Nationals.
  • Stewart is seeking his first Top Fuel win at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. He made one Top Alcohol Dragster start at zMAX Dragway at the 2023 Four-Wide Nationals, where he was the No. 4 qualifier and finished runner-up.
  • Hagan has three career wins at Charlotte. Two of his victories came in 2011 and 2014 during the Carolina Nationals. Hagan won the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals on April 21, 2013 (4.071 ET at 315.34 mph) when he defeated Blake Alexander (4.156 ET at 294.56 mph), Tim Wilkerson (5.141 ET at 153.39 mph) and Chad Head (10.525 ET at 67.05 mph). Hagan has raced in five final quads at Charlotte (2010, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2019). He is seeking his first No. 1 qualifier at the event.
  • Hagan was the first Funny Car driver to break the four-second barrier when he completed a run of 3.995 seconds in 2011 at Charlotte. His milestone run was commemorated with a sign on the retaining wall near the starting line.
  • By advancing to Round 2 at the Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas, Hagan and Stewart qualified to participate in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge. The challenge brings competitive racing to the qualifying schedule at 13 regular-season events during the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series campaign, pitting competitors from the previous race against each other in a pair of rematches, with the two winners then matching up in the final qualifying session. Hagan earned a rematch against Ron Capps, Jason Rupert (not yet entered – alternate John Force) and J.R. Todd in Round 1. Stewart earned a rematch against Justin Ashley, Clay Millican and Terry Totten (not yet entered – alternate Antron Brown) in Round 1. There is a bonus purse and bonus points for the Countdown to the Championship on the line.
  • Hagan will participate in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty autograph session with fellow Funny Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors on Friday at 2:15 p.m. EDT. Stewart will participate in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty autograph session with fellow Top Fuel and Pro Stock Car competitors on Saturday at 9:45 a.m. EDT. Both sessions will take place at the Mission Foods Display.
  • Hagan and Stewart will participate in autograph signings at the Tony Stewart Store merchandise trailer. Hagan will be signing on Friday from 3:45-4:15 p.m. EDT. Stewart will be signing on Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT.
  • Stewart will be available to speak with the media on Friday at 3 p.m. EDT in the zMAX Dragway Media Center.
  • The NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will be a family affair for TSR as team owner Tony Stewart will host people from Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the NASCAR team he co-owns with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. SHR is just nine miles north of the track in Kannapolis, North Carolina.