Pre-Race PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals

Matt Hagan
  • The PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in North Dinwiddie, located just south of the state capital in Richmond, hosts the ninth 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 51-time Funny Car winner and four-time champion Matt Hagan.
  • Coming into Richmond, Stewart is ninth in the Top Fuel standings, 253 points behind leader Doug Kalitta. Hagan is fourth in the Funny Car standings, 117 points behind leader Austin Prock.
  • Direct Connection is the primary partner of Stewart and Hagan this weekend in Richmond. 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 Virginia NHRA Nationals will mark Stewart’s ninth career Top Fuel start and his first at Virginia. For Hagan, the Virginia NHRA Nationals will be his 341st career Funny Car start and his fifth at Virginia.
  • Hagan and Stewart are eyeing their first victory at the Virginia NHRA Nationals, and Stewart is also seeking his first No. 1 qualifier at the event. Hagan has one No. 1 qualifier at the Virginia NHRA Nationals in 2022 (3.853 ET at 331.45 mph). The run set the track record for both time and speed.
  • The NHRA last competed at the Virginia NHRA Nationals in 2022, where Hagan advanced to the Finals. His 3.948 ET at 327.59 mph lost to Robert Hight’s 3.907 ET, 328.86 mph run.
  • Virginia represents a home race for Hagan. The 51-time event winner is a native of Christiansburg, Virginia, located 190 miles west of the track.
  • By advancing to the Semifinals at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Hagan qualified to participate in the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, where he will face a rematch against Austin Prock.
  • Despite the Virginia NHRA Nationals marking Stewart’s first NHRA start in Richmond, he made 35 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series at nearby Richmond Raceway, where he collected three wins (Fall of 1999, Spring of 2001, Spring of 2002).

The Virginia NHRA Nationals will mark three qualifying sessions in one day. What excitement will that bring for the fans?

“I think it’s great to have three runs in a day. You’ll get a morning, mid-day and evening run. It also keeps the fans engaged. Fridays are great, but a lot of people are working on Friday, so this gives an opportunity to really pack the house on Saturday and Sunday. I think the team will enjoy the format. Our guys are going fishing the day before for some more team camaraderie. It’ll put on a great show.”

What excitement will qualifying bring for the fans by having it condensed to one day?

“The format will keep fans very engaged. Sometimes, there’s one session on Friday, so you’re in and out. It’s almost like a championship Sunday where you do four runs in one day and we’ve proven we can do four runs in one day. The guys will have to be in hustle mode, but they’ll get it done.”

Saturday, June 22 (Nitro Qualifying & Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, streamed live on NHRA.TV)

  • Nitro qualifying session (Q1): 12 p.m. EDT
  • Nitro qualifying (Q2) & Mission #2Fast2Tasty Top Fuel Challenge – Round 1: 3 p.m. EDT
  • Nitro qualifying (Q2) & Mission #2Fast2Tasty Funny Car Challenge – Round 1: 3:30 p.m. EDT
  • Nitro qualifying (Q3) & Mission #2Fast2Tasty Funny Car Challenge – Finals: 6 p.m. EDT
  • Nitro qualifying (Q3) & Mission #2Fast2Tasty Top Fuel Challenge – Finals: 6:30 p.m. EDT

Sunday, June 23 (Nitro Eliminations, streamed live on NHRA.TV)

  • Round 1: 12 p.m. EDT
  • Round 2: 2:15 p.m. EDT
  • Semi-Finals: 3:50 p.m. EDT
  • Finals: 5:20 p.m. EDT

TV coverage on FS1

  • Saturday, June 22: Qualifying show (1 p.m. EDT)
  • Sunday, June 23: Qualifying show, recapping all of Saturday’s action (1 p.m. EDT)
  • Sunday, June 23: Finals show (5 p.m. EDT)