June 5, 2022,
Epping, New Hampshire
Tony Stewart Racing took home their third Wally trophy of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series season after Funny Car driver Matt Hagan powered his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat from the No. 1 qualifier position to a fourth win in five years at New England Dragway.
“We’re very proud to see Matt Hagan drive the Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car to the winner’s circle at the New England Nationals and earn a third Wally this season,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer - Stellantis. “It’s a pleasure to see Matt and Tony Stewart Racing continue to embody Dodge//SRT performance and highlight what Dodge Power Brokers and Direct Connection can do for enthusiasts and their rides.”
“It was just a great weekend,” said Hagan who earned his 42nd career Funny Car victory with his team’s performance at the New England Nationals. “I can’t say enough about Dickie (Venables, crew chief). Nothing really needs to be said – our Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat speaks for itself. Mike Knutson, Alex Conaway, all the boys wrenching on the car, they just do a great job. It’s one of those things I don’t even think about anymore because each and every one of those guys has earned my trust with my life. So when I crawl in the car, I don’t think about anything other than just leaving the starting line.
Hagan qualified atop the eliminations ladder for a second consecutive event and a third time this season with a 3.878 second run at 332.51 mph, then turned on the win lights against No. 14 seed Dale Creasy Jr, had a bye run in the quarterfinals, and defeated No. 10 seed J.R. Todd to advance to his sixth final elimination round of the year.
For a third time in eight events Hagan lined up his 11,000-horsepower Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat against Robert Hight in a final, then wasted no time powering to a 3.922 sec./ 327.98 mph lap to capture the first victory over his nemesis this year. Hagan’s third win of the season helps him maintain the lead in the Funny Car championship standings with 41-point advantage over Hight who sits in second place with three wins of his own.
Fellow Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver Cruz Pedregon continued his streak of solid qualifying performances with another top-five starting position, his seventh in eight events, by taking his Snap-on Tools Funny Car for a 3.901 second lap at 324.28 mph to earn the No. 4 spot on the eliminations ladder. He faced off against No. 11 seed Bob Tasca III in the opening round and posted a 3.948 sec. pass at 323.74 mph to beat his opponent and advance to the quarterfinals to race No. 10 seed J.R. Todd. Pedregon had the starting line advantage and maintained the lead to half-track when a loss of traction ruined his run and gave his opponent the opportunity to get past him.
In Top Fuel action, Dodge Power Brokers dragster pilot Leah Pruett and her TSR crew were seeking a strong performance at the New England Nationals to help break a string of early exits that have plagued the team since the start of the season. They overcame some qualifying challenges with traction issues on the first lap and then a stuck throttle at the end of the burnout in the second session that forced Pruett to continue down the track and abandon the run. Her third qualifying run was drama free with a solid 3.780 second pass at 323.50 mph to put the Dodge Power Brokers dragster 11th on the Top Fuel eliminations ladder and set up a first round matchup against No. 6 seed Tony Schumacher.
The Dodge//SRT HEMI®-powered machine had a solid opening round run with a 3.796-second/ 322.11 mph elapsed time to defeat Schumacher and give her lane choice in the quarterfinals against No. 3 seed Mike Salinas. However, Pruett had an uncharacteristically late launch against her opponent (a 0.125-second reaction time to a 0.081-sec. start) and her 3.807/321.27 run wasn’t enough to contend for the win against Salinas’ 3.746 sec./328.62 mph effort. Despite the difficult start to the season, Pruett sits just outside the top-ten in the Top Fuel standings in an 11th place tie with Antron Brown.
The NHRA will race again next weekend at the traditional Father’s Day weekend event, the Thunder Valley Nationals on June 17-19 at Bristol Dragway in Tennessee, for the ninth of 22 national events this season.
ADDITIONAL NOTES and QUOTES:
Leah Pruett, Dodge Power Brokers Top Fuel Dragster
(No. 11 Qualifier – 3.780 seconds at 323.50 mph)
(0.061-second reaction time, 3.796 seconds at 322.11 mph) defeats No. 6 Tony Schumacher (0.083/3.980/266.32)
(0.125/3.807/321.27) loss to No. 3 Mike Salinas (0.081/3.746/328.62)
“The great stuff that’s come out of this weekend is the progress of the team and the car under the cards we were dealt. The guys are doing a phenomenal job with the parts and pieces. I’ve been working really hard on my focus game and reaction time, and there’s a huge outlier between round one and round two for me – I was just behind the entire time. It was an uncharacteristic thing given the tools I’ve been using in my toolbox. Frustrating, no doubt, but we have a big handful of races coming up and a very intense faith and backing. I’ll be carrying this pretty heavily for a while until I’m able to prove again and again on Sundays.
“I can do two things – I can let it eat me up, or work on it, improve it, get over it and show the world the potential that this team has. We’ve been doing that. It’s just heartbreaking when it doesn’t come and it’s at your own cost, but that’s a true reflection of how bad you want it. It is hard to maintain consistency when there are a lot of different changes. This one’s on me, but we’re a mature group and we have a mature mindset about it and we’ll continue on.”
Matt Hagan, Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
(No. 1 Qualifier – 3.878 seconds at 332.51 mph)
(0.083-second reaction time, 4.097 seconds at 261.83 mph) defeats No. 14 Dale Creasy Jr. (0.083/10.284/88.72)
(0.087/3.948/323.27) Bye run
(0.062/3.963/325.69) defeats No. 10 J.R. Todd (0.054/3.981/321.58)
(0.040/3.922/327.980 defeats Robert Hight (0.059/6.232/110.15)
“I think it’s going to be a dogfight all year between Robert Hight and us. You can’t leave out Ron Capps, John Force, J.R. Todd and all the other guys out there. It’s a dogfight out there and I love it. I was so up on the wheel there and was like, ‘Come on, come on.’ Hight is a bad dude out there and he’s hard to get around and he’s had our number three times already this year. I have a lot of respect for Robert Hight and what he does. He drives the same type of style I do and that’s no BS – just drive your racecar. That’s what we did today. This Dodge Power Brokers team – I love you to death and trust you with my life. I wouldn’t trade you for anyone.”
Cruz Pedregon, Pedregon Racing Snap-on® Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.901 seconds at 324.28 mph)
(0.073-second reaction time, 3.948 seconds at 323.74 mph) defeats No. 11 Bob Tasca III (0.104/ 4.839/161.56)
(0.052/4.670/182.03) loss to No. 10 J.R. Todd (0.068/4.019/318.24)
“A great event for the Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car team. We qualified in the NO. 4 position with a 3.90 at 324 mph, then went on to post the second quickest run of the very first round at 3.94 to dispose of Bob Tasca. Then the second round we went off against J.R. Todd where we lost traction after having the lead for a bit. A quarterfinal finish and other strong effort even if it isn’t quite what we wanted, but we're still right in the hunt. I think we'll maintain our fifth spot in the points. We're just right on the cusp of really breaking through. We're making some really good runs, our qualifying efforts prove that we're fast. We have the speed. We just need to keep maintain that consistency throughout the event.”
NHRA CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS:
Following the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway
FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1. Matt Hagan (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat): 797 (3)
2. Robert Hight: 756 (3)
3. Ron Capps: 634(1)
4. John Force: 507
5. Cruz Pedregon (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat): 452
6. J.R. Todd: 331
7. Bob Tasca III: 386
8. Alexis DeJoria: 362
9. Chad Green: 321
10. Tim Wilkerson: 311
TOP FUEL (season wins in parentheses)
1. Brittany Force: 668 (3)
2. Mike Salinas: 638 (3)
3. Steve Torrence: 569
4. Justin Ashley: 561 (1)
5. Austin Prock: 425
6. Clay Millican: 396
7. Josh Hart: 376
8. Doug Kalitta: 373
9. Shawn Langdon: 341
10. Tony Schumacher: 329
11. Leah Pruett (Dodge Power Brokers): 294
11. Antron Brown: 294
DodgeGarage: Digital Hub for Drag Racing News
Fans can follow all the NHRA action this season at DodgeGarage, the one-stop portal for Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag-racing news. The site includes daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. For more information, visit www.dodgegarage.com
@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
Instagram channel continues to share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers on the track. Fans can see action from the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series and NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers, competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge. Their influence continues today as Dodge shifts into high gear with a lineup that delivers unrivaled performance in each of the segments where they compete.
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Dodge is part of the portfolio of brands offered by leading global automaker and mobility provider Stellantis. For more information regarding Stellantis (NYSE: STLA), please visit www.stellantis.com
This year marks the 85th anniversary of Mopar.
A simple combination of the words MOtor and PARts, Mopar offers exceptional service, parts and customer-care. Born in 1937 as the name of a line of antifreeze products, Mopar has evolved over 85 years to represent both complete vehicle care and authentic performance for owners and enthusiasts worldwide.
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