Pre-Race NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Vegas

You earned a double-up victory at last year’s NHRA Four-Wide Nationals with Tony Stewart in the Top Alcohol Dragster. How special would it be to double up with him now in Top Fuel?

“Anytime you can double-up, it’s always special. It was really cool being able to do that last year with Tony in the Top Alcohol Dragster and us in the Funny Car. It was really neat seeing Tony advance to the Semifinals in Phoenix. It only takes one run to change your whole weekend. We all have a combination to work on for Vegas. We have a good baseline to go off of and have done well in Vegas, so we can reference back to that. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We’re not blowing the doors of everybody by any means. That’s just racing. You struggle and then you win some races, and the cycle starts again. That’s what makes this sport so humbling. The work we put in will prevail. Hopefully we can both get lucky and go some rounds in Vegas.”

After starting the season with three car-to-car battles down the strip, how different will the Four-Wide Nationals be?

“Four-wides are not always my favorite, even though I’ve won them before. Everything we do is about repetition and routine and these races throw a little bit of a kink in that. You get one run in each lane and hope for the best. You never know how they’re going to go. I hope we can use the weekend as a bit of a test session. We’ll also stay in Vegas an extra day for some additional testing, so it’s always nice to get more runs. If you can win at the four-wide events, it’s awesome because it’s out of the norm a little bit.”

You’ll be returning to the Operation Healing Forces colors at Vegas. How special is it representing their mission of supporting war-torn men and women?

“I would love to personally activate a bit more with the folks from Operation Healing Forces. I think it’s important to get to know these guys and girls and have them out to the races more to better their lives. They’ve sacrificed so much for our country to allow us to do what we do. They’re some of the baddest people in the World, so it’s always great to be able to hang out with them. I want to show them an awesome time at the track.”

  • The NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the fourth 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.
  • Coming into Las Vegas, Stewart is ninth in the Top Fuel standings, 161 points behind leader Shawn Langdon. Hagan is fourth in the Funny Car standings, 73 points behind leader J.R. Todd.
  • Stewart enters Las Vegas representing the Rayce Rudeen Foundation on his blue and yellow Top Fuel dragster. Hagan, meanwhile, sports red, white and blue colors of Operation Healing Forces and Shelor Motor Mile on his Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Car.
  • The Rayce Rudeen Foundation is a non-profit organization that works with organizations and programs to encourage a healthy and productive life that is free of addiction. The designated 501(c)(3) is named in honor of Rayce Rudeen, who at age 26 passed away from an accidental Fentanyl overdose. Since its inception, the Rayce Rudeen Foundation has advocated for creating a supportive community in which everyone can access prevention, treatment, recovery and family-support services, all free from stigma. By collaborating with local universities, researchers, organizations, businesses and community coalitions, the Rayce Rudeen Foundation is leading communities toward a united and compassionate response to addiction by identifying gaps in care and building educational tools.
  • Operation Healing Forces (OHF) was formed in 2011 with the goal of strengthening human bonds amongst the Special Operation Forces (SOF) community. OHF’s programs are specifically designed and tailored to enable war-torn men and women to break through the silence and openly discuss their battlefield and personal hardships and provide needed support. OHF believes in reintegration, rehabilitation and resiliency.
  • Shelor Motor Mile is a family-owned car dealership serving the Christiansburg, Virginia, area since 1974. In addition to a large selection of cars and trucks from various manufacturers, Shelor Motor Mile also has an in-house financing department that can help customers determine a financial plan for buying their desired vehicle. They also make trading-in a vehicle a seamless process and offer a sizable assortment of pre-owned cars. Shelor Motor Mile is owned by Hagan’s father, David Hagan.
  • For Hagan, the Four-Wide Nationals will be his 336th career Funny Car start. It’ll be his 29th overall start at Las Vegas and his sixth in the Four-Wide Nationals.
  • Hagan is seeking back-to-back wins as he rolls into the Four-Wide Nationals. He is the defending Four-Wide Nationals winner, where his 3.943 ET, 326.79 mph run defeated Tim Wilkerson (3.969 ET at 319.45 mph), John Force (4.005 ET at 321.81 mph) and Chad Green (4.222 ET at 250.74 mph) in 2023. Hagan has four wins at Last Vegas in the fall – 2017 when his 3.942 ET at 329.42 mph defeated Courtney Force’s 4.020 ET, 320.05 mph run, 2019 when his 3.876 ET at 331.36 mph defeated Jonnie Lindberg (3.945 mph at 321.12 mph), 2020 when his 3.914 ET at 326.40 mph defeated Ron Capps (4.463 ET at 173.70 mph) and 2022 when Hagan’s 3.896 ET at 330.23 mph defeated Robert Hight’s 6.157 ET, 111.12 mph run.
  • Hagan will look to earn his fourth No. 1 start at Las Vegas, but his first since the track was reconfigured to four lanes. He scored his first No. 1 qualifier in October 2009 (4.030 ET at 313.88 mph), his second in November 2014 (3.983 ET at 322.42 mph) and his third in April 2015 (4.007 ET at 318.02 mph).
  • Stewart and Hagan will be available to speak with the media on Friday at 10:45 a.m. PDT at the TSR pit.
  • Join Stewart’s crew chief, Neal Strausbaugh, for Nitro School at the Nitro Alley Stage on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. PDT.
  • TSR will be launching a Facebook giveaway in conjunction with Operation Healing Forces on Tuesday, April 9. Fans can enter to win a limited-edition Operation Healing Forces diecast. The car not only symbolizes speed and precision, but also carries the support of our veterans. In order to enter, fans must follow OHF and TSR on Facebook, like the post and tag a friend that loves the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series and supporting our nation’s veterans. A winner will be selected on Wednesday, April 10.