Tony Stewart Racing: Charlotte Advance for the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals

Tony Stewart Racing Photo

Friday, April 29 (Nitro Qualifying, streamed live on NHRA.TV)

●  Nitro qualifying session (Q1): 4:15 p.m. EDT

●  Nitro qualifying session (Q2): 7:45 p.m. EDT   Saturday, April 30 (Nitro Qualifying, streamed live on NHRA.TV

)●  Nitro qualifying session (Q3): 1:15 p.m. EDT

●  Nitro qualifying session (Q4): 4:45 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 1 (Nitro Eliminations, streamed live on NHRA.TV)

●  Round 1: 12 p.m. EDT

●  Round 2: 2:45 p.m. EDT

●  Finals: 5 p.m. EDT TV coverage on FS1

●  Friday, April 29: Qualifying show (7 p.m. EDT)

●  Sunday, May 1: Qualifying show, recapping all of Saturday’s action (11 a.m. EDT)

●  Sunday, May 1: Finals show (7 p.m. EDT) 
Notes of Interest
 ●  The Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals near Charlotte, North Carolina, is the sixth event on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ 22-race calendar in 2022. Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) brings its two fulltime entries – one in Top Fuel for nine-time event winner Leah Pruett and one in Funny Car for three-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan. 

●  Hagan comes into Charlotte as Funny Car’s most recent winner. The Christiansburg, Virginia-native scored his 41st career win in the 35th NHRA SpringNationals last Sunday at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas. The triumph served as a bookend for Hagan at Houston, as he scored his first career Funny Car win at the track on April 11, 2010. The 35th SpringNationals served as Houston’s final race, as the track has since closed. Soon after Finals concluded, the new property owners began repurposing the drag racing facility into an industrial park.

 ●  Hagan’s win at Houston expanded his lead in the Funny Car championship standing to 60 points over his nearest purser, Robert Hight. 

●  Shelor Motor Mile, a family-owned car dealership serving the Christiansburg, Virginia, area since 1974, will adorn Hagan’s Dodge SRT Hellcat Funny Car at Charlotte. 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, who will attend the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals with Virginia Tech head football coach Brent Pry. 

●  Dodge Power Brokers and Direct Connection return to Pruett’s Top Fuel dragster this weekend in Charlotte. The Dodge Power Brokers program serves as the exclusive source for Direct Connection, Dodge’s factory-backed performance parts program, which is equipped with staff trained to deliver a performance-focused customer service experience. 

●  The Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will mark Pruett’s 177th career Top Fuel start. It’ll be her 17th overall start at Charlotte and her ninth in the Four-Wide Nationals. For Hagan, the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will be his 299th career Funny Car start. It’ll be his 23rd overall start at Charlotte and his 11th in the Four-Wide Nationals.

 ●  Pruett is eyeing for her first victory at the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. In 2017 and 2019, she advanced to the final quad at Charlotte. In 2015, Pruett raced to a semifinal appearance at the Carolina Nationals. Pruett is seeking her first No. 1 qualifier at the event. 

●  Hagan has three career wins at Charlotte. Two of his victories came in 2011 and 2014 during the Carolina Nationals. Hagan won the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals on April 21, 2013 (4.071 ET at 315.34 mph) when he defeated Blake Alexander (4.156 ET at 294.56 mph), Tim Wilkerson (5.141 ET at 153.39 mph) and Chad Head (10.525 ET at 67.05 mph). Hagan is seeking his first No. 1 qualifier at the event. 

●  Hagan was the first Funny Car driver to break the four-second barrier when he completed a run of 3.995 seconds in 2011 at Charlotte. His milestone run was commemorated with a sign on the retaining wall near the starting line. 

●  The Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will be a family affair for TSR as team owner Tony Stewart will host approximately 350 people from Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the NASCAR team he co-owns with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. SHR is just nine miles north of the track in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

 ●  DYK? Charlotte was the first four-lane drag strip on the NHRA schedule. The ground-breaking took place on Feb. 5, 2008 and a total of 1,876 workers were involved in the track’s construction. Together they worked 636,000 combined man hours and through this tremendous effort, the 13-month construction project was completed in only six months. The first NHRA sanctioned Four-Wide event took place in March 2010. 
Leah Pruett, Driver of the Dodge Power Brokers Top Fuel Dragster 
 After a strong weekend at the last Four-Wide Nationals event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, how much confidence does that give you and the Dodge Power Brokers team at Charlotte? “It brings just the right amount of confidence to the team to push a little harder in our power window, which will hopefully result in a notch or two lower qualifying position. Lower altitude and cooler temperatures will make for a much quicker and faster four-wide than Vegas.” 

Describe the feeling of teamwork your Dodge Power Brokers crew is experiencing now that the NHRA has completed five events this season and you’re able to start gathering more data with each run. “Expediting our data acquisition has been the goal, and still is, but we’ve gained another focus of data organization, which is a project of its own. That continues to prove we have the right forward thinking brains in our operation.”

 What will the feeling of team comradery be having approximately 350 guests from Stewart-Haas Racing supporting TSR at Charlotte?  “For many, it will feel like meeting your half siblings for the first time. I feel there of course will be an extended will to perform well, but no degree of pressure none of us haven’t been under. The cool part is that these guests are racers too and know how difficult wins are to get at any level, so the respect factor over expectations is what really puts the ‘home’ in the homecoming race.”

Matt Hagan, Driver of the Shelor Motor Mile Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car 
 Having advanced to the finals in four out of the first five NHRA events in 2022, what’s the confidence level of you and the Shelor Motor Mile crew going into Charlotte?“Rolling into the Four-Wide race at Charlotte is always chaotic. Coming off our win in Houston, we are carrying a lot of momentum this year. We’ve advanced to the finals in four out of the first five events to start the season. That momentum is really hard to get in a Funny car. The consistency comes from our guys on the team and what they do every day putting the parts and pieces together. I want everyone to realize how it’s about our guys, not me as a driver. It’s about Dickie (Venables, crew chief), Mike Knudson (co-crew chief), Alex Conaway (car chief) and everyone that works on the car. Consistency is key and without them doing what they do, we can’t do anything. We have a team we can go out there and win a championship with. We’re making a statement and we’re here to win. Everyone is working hard and we’re ready to win more races.” 

What will the feeling of team comradery be having approximately 350 guests from Stewart-Haas Racing supporting TSR at Charlotte?   “It will be awesome to have almost 350 Stewart-Haas Racing guests at the track. It is extremely cool. I’m really excited to meet all of the guys and gals that support what Tony (Stewart) does. It’ll be neat for them to see an NHRA event and all that goes into it.”

  What does it mean to have Shelor Motor Mile on your Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car Charlotte? “It’s really important to me to run my family’s Shelor Motor Mile scheme. It’s my family’s business and we have over 900 employees. We’re going to bring quite a few of them to the race this weekend, so there will be a lot going on. I would love nothing more than to get my dad a win with his new logo and paint scheme on my Funny Car. To be able to bring the trophy back to him would mean a lot. Charlotte is considered my home track because it’s only two hours from my house. Everyone comes out, so I’m sure we’ll sell a lot of Matt Hagan shirts this weekend. It’ll be people on top of people, but I love it and thrive in it. The more the merrier. I love our fan base and everyone that supports us. We’ll have everyone out there that’s supported me from short tracks, all the way up to winning a championship.”


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