Tony Stewart Racing: Houston Event Recap for the NHRA SpringNationals — HAGAN WINS!!

Tony Stewart Racing

Leah Pruett, driver of the Dodge Power Brokers Top Fuel Dragster:

●  Earned No. 6 provisional qualifying position in Q1 on Friday (3.719 ET at 328.54 mph).

●  Maintained No. 6 qualifying position from Q1. Pruett’s Q2 run on Saturday was a 5.966 ET at 113.26 mph.

●  Secured No. 7 qualifying position in Q3 on Saturday (3.711 ET at 329.26 mph).

●  Ran a 4.973 ET at 201.04 mph in Round 1 of eliminations on Sunday, lost to Shawn Langdon (4.774 ET at 197.48 mph).

●  Currently 13th in the Top Fuel championship standings, 249 points behind points leader Brittany Force. 

Matt Hagan, driver of the Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car: 

●  Earned No. 7 provisional qualifying position in Q1 on Friday (3.926 ET at 319.37 mph).

●  Maintained No. 7 qualifying position from Q1. Hagan’s Q2 run on Saturday was a 6.732 ET at 100.30 mph.

●  Secured No. 8 qualifying position in Q3 on Saturday (3.924 ET at 329.34 mph).

●  Advanced to Finals on Sunday:   

●  Round 1: 3.954 ET at 325.77 mph, defeated John Force (4.010 ET at 328.06 mph).  

  ●  Round 2: 3.933 ET at 326.87 mph, defeated Ron Capps (8.017 ET at 95.44 mph).   

●  Semifinal: 3.937 ET at 323.97 mph, defeated J.R. Todd (10.851 ET at 81.82 mph).   

●  Final: 3.982 ET at 326.63 mph, defeated Bobby Bode (4.046 ET at 282.95 mph).

●  Currently leads the Funny Car championship standings with a 60-point advantage over Robert Hight. 
Notes of Interest
 ●  Hagan’s victory at the NHRA SpringNationals marked his 41st career win and his second at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas. The first of his 41 wins came at the track on April 11, 2010, and this most recent victory served as a bookend to Hagan’s career at Houston as the track hosted its final NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series event this weekend after 35 years.

●  Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) dedicated this weekend’s SpringNationals win to the late Dick Venables, the father of Hagan’s crew chief, Dickie Venables. Dick passed away on Dec. 29, 2021. He had a passion for drag racing and paved a way for Dickie to make a career in the NHRA for the last 40 years.

●  Hagan has advanced to the finals in four out of the first five NHRA events in 2022.

●  Hagan was selected as the NHRA’s “Marquee Matchup” for Round 1 of eliminations against 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force.

●  For the second time in 2022, two drivers of the iconic No. 14 celebrated victories on the same weekend. The day before Hagan secured the Funny Car win at Houston, Chase Briscoe drove his No. 14 to the United Sprint Car Series Outlaw Thunder Tour feature win at the Talladega (Ala.) Short Track. It was a sense of déjà vu for it was only six weeks ago when Briscoe drove the No. 14 to victory lane for his first NASCAR Cup Series win at Phoenix Raceway, while just minutes apart Hagan scored the first win for TSR by winning the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway.

●  The SpringNationals marked Pruett’s 176th career start in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series and her ninth at Houston. 
Leah Pruett, Driver of the Dodge Power Brokers Top Fuel Dragster 
 “Overall, we feel this has been a very generous weekend in the form of information that this team is accruing in order to find our window of performance. It was great to qualify seventh because there is a super tight field. We are just a couple of hundredths behind. Our challenge right now is that we backed the car up to where we thought it would get down the racetrack and it smoked in a very prime zone. I did not do a platinum job of pedaling the car. I’ve been working really hard on my reaction times and that is a huge win to be able to leave before Shawn (Langdon). In all of my 10 years of racing in Top Fuel, I’ve never been in a pedal situation like that where I pedaled it, smoked it and Shawn was ahead of me. However, I see myself at about half-track gaining on him and I’m trying to look at the distance of the finish line and how much I’m gaining on him. In my calculation process, he had gotten back ahead of me, but he wasn’t on a full pull. I couldn’t see that his parachute was out. It was a very weird anomaly of what happened to him in his lane. For me, I couldn’t get myself to pedal the car again at half-track and regain traction because it looked to me that I could already be gaining on him. It’s a testament to our Dodge Mopar parts that stayed together during the run. While it didn’t put the win lights on, between our performance and our team’s visit with NASA and their engineers, we feel very inspired seeing all of their technology and that will help our team dig a little deeper. Everyone’s head is held very high. We get to go back to four-wide racing in just a couple of days and I’m excited about that. We have a hot rod and I can’t wait to put it back on the track.” 
Matt Hagan, Driver of the Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car
 “First of all, Bob and Bobby Bode are doing a great job. That kid is doing a great job driving and I’m super proud of him. We need youngsters like that coming up in the sport. I hated to rain on his parade for his birthday weekend. That is drag racing though. I’m here to do a job and to win. It was so special for Dickie Venables (crew chief) to have his whole family here for the win, following his dad’s passing at the end of last year. Dick Venables is a huge part of Dickie and what he has been able to accomplish in his career. It’s so special for Dickie to have that inspiration from his dad. This race means so much to me because I won my first race here in 2010. I got in on a pedal job and won on a pedal job. To close it out at Houston Raceway Park with a win and honor Dickie and his dad means a lot. It is a sad, sad thing, but we’re going to end on a really good note. To be able to give Dickie and his family the trophy this weekend is massive. Dickie means so much to me and it’s so cool because racing is his life. To be able to come out of here with a win is huge. I’m excited that our Dodge Power Brokers Charger is running well. We’re the points leader and we’ve been to the final in four out of five races. We are making a statement this year. We got through a lot of heavy hitters today and there were no easy runs. All in all, it’s a really great weekend.” 
Next Up
 The next event on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series schedule is the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals April 29-May 1 at Charlotte (N.C.) Dragway.

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