Pre-Race Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

  • The Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, marks the 10th 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 Norwalk, Stewart is ninth in the Top Fuel standings, 293 points behind leader Doug Kalitta. Hagan is third in the Funny Car standings, 166 points behind leader Austin Prock.
  • Direct Connection is the primary partner of Stewart and Hagan this weekend in Norwalk. 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 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals will serve as Stewart’s 10th career Top Fuel start and his first at Norwalk. For Hagan, this will be his 342nd career Funny Car start and his 15th at Norwalk.
  • Stewart is eyeing his first victory in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, as well as his first No. 1 qualifier. However, Stewart competed at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in 2023 in the Top Alcohol Dragster class, where he was No. 1 qualifier and lost in the second round to then teammate Matt Cummings. Stewart will be driving the Top Fuel Dragster in which wife Leah Pruett won last year’s race from the No. 1 qualifying position (3.684 ET at 333.08 mph), beating Kyle Wurtzel, Mike Salinas, Austin Prock and Justin Ashley.
  • Hagan has one career win at Norwalk in 2018 (4.094 ET at 288.21 mph) when he defeated Courtney Force (4.220 ET at 227.54 mph). Hagan has two No. 1 qualifiers at the event, which came in 2015 (3.973 ET at 321.96 mph) and 2017 (3.865 ET at 333.33 mph). He was runner-up at last year’s event, where his 3.991 ET, 327.90 mph run lost to Blake Alexander’s 3.935 ET, 321.96 mph run.
  • Hagan is the track record holder at Norwalk for elapsed time at 3.865-seconds, a mark he set on June 23, 2017.
  • By advancing to the Semifinals at the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals, Hagan and Stewart qualified to participate in the #2Fast2Tasty Challenge at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. Hagan will face a rematch against Austin Prock, for the second challenge in a row. Stewart will face off against Doug Kalitta.
  • Hagan and Stewart will participate in the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge autograph session on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. EDT, which will take place at the Mission Foods tent in the pits.
  • Hagan and Stewart will participate in a Dodge autograph session on Friday from 4:45-5:15 p.m. EDT and again on Saturday from 1:15-1:45 p.m. EDT. Both sessions will take place in the pits at the Dodge display.
  • Hagan and Stewart will participate in Tony Stewart Store merchandise trailer signings. Hagan will be signing Friday from 4:15-4:35 p.m. EDT. Stewart will be signing Friday in between Q1 and Q2.
  • Stewart’s crew chief Neal Strausbaugh will be joining the NHRA’s Hannah Rickards on the NHRA stage on Friday at 3:30 p.m. EDT for the Fire Department Coffee with a Crew Chief Q&A session.

During the first nine races this season, you’ve advanced to the Finals four times and Semifinals two times, collecting two wins along the way (Charlotte and Chicago). What momentum does that give you heading into Norwalk?

“We have some positive momentum going into Norwalk. We have to get the car running on all eight cylinders and that’s been a challenge for us this season. Whenever we can turn the corner with that, I think we’ll really see the performance of the race car turn around. It’s not an easy task, but it still shows how strong of a team we are that we qualify in the bottom half of the field most of these races and fight our way through and are still sitting third in points. It’s not for a lack of hard work and effort, but we know that has to be our focus.”

Dodge’s headquarters is located 150 miles north of Norwalk in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Talk about the significance of competing in a quasi-home race for Dodge.

“Anytime we can get the Dodge folks out to the track and continue to build on that relationship, it’s great. Mark Whitney is amazing to work with. He’s a racer himself and goes to battle for us. We can’t thank Dodge and everyone behind the scenes enough. It take an army to do what we do and Dodge is a big piece of the puzzle to keep things moving forward out here. They’re a leader in the NHRA and in all of motorsports.”