Tony Stewart Racing Chicago Advance for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals  

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Friday, May 17 (Nitro Qualifying, streamed live on NHRA.TV)

  • Nitro qualifying session (Q1): 3:30 p.m. CDT/4:30 p.m. EDT
  • Nitro qualifying session (Q2): 6 p.m. CDT/7 p.m. EDT

Saturday, May 18 (Nitro Qualifying & Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, streamed live on NHRA.TV)

  • Top Fuel qualifying session (Q3): 12:30 p.m. CDT/1:30 p.m. EDT
  • Mission #2Fast2Tasty Top Fuel Challenge – Round 1: 12:55 p.m. CDT/1:55 p.m. EDT
  • Funny Car qualifying session (Q3): 1:05 p.m. CDT/2:05 p.m. EDT
  • Mission #2Fast2Tasty Funny Car Challenge – Round 1: 1:30 p.m. CDT/2:30 p.m. EDT
  • Top Fuel qualifying session (Q4): 3:30 p.m. CDT/4:30 p.m. EDT
  • Mission #2Fast2Tasty Top Fuel Challenge – Finals: 3:55 p.m. CDT/4:55 p.m. EDT
  • Funny Car qualifying session (Q4): 4 p.m. CDT/5 p.m. EDT
  • Mission #2Fast2Tasty Funny Car Challenge – Finals: 4:25 p.m. CDT/5:25 p.m. EDT

Sunday, May 19 (Nitro Eliminations, streamed live on NHRA.TV)

  • Round 1: 11 a.m. CDT/12 p.m. EDT
  • Round 2: 1 p.m. CDT/2 p.m. EDT
  • Semi-Finals: 2:35 p.m. CDT/3:35 p.m. EDT
  • Finals: 4:15 p.m. CDT/5:15 p.m. EDT

TV coverage on FS1

  • Friday, May 17: Qualifying show (7:30 p.m. EDT)
  • Sunday, May 19: Qualifying show, recapping all of Saturday’s action (1 p.m. EDT)
  • Sunday, May 19: Finals Round 1 (4 p.m. EDT)
  • Sunday, May 19: Finals show (10 p.m. EDT)
  • The Gerber Collision and Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance near Chicago, Illinois, is the sixth 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 50-time Funny Car winner and four-time champion Matt Hagan. Hagan delivered TSR’s first victory of the season in the prior event at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina, driving his TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Car to his 50th career victory in the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
  • Coming into Chicago, Stewart is seventh in the Top Fuel standings, 212 points behind leader Justin Ashley. Hagan is currently third in the Funny Car standings, 32 points behind leader Austin Prock.
  • With Hagan’s win at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, he became the 17th pro driver with 50 tour victories. John Force, Robert Hight and Ron Capps currently are the only other Funny Car drivers to have reached that plateau. Hagan has won a tour event for 12 consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series. He tied John Force for the most Funny Car wins in the four-wide era with three.
  • Direct Connection is the primary partner of Hagan and Stewart this weekend in Chicago. 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 Route 66 NHRA Nationals will mark Stewart’s sixth career Top Fuel start and his first at Chicago. For Hagan, the Route 66 NHRA Nationals will be his 338th career Funny Car start and his 13th at Chicago.  
  • Stewart is eyeing his first victory at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals and his first No. 1 qualifier at the event. The Top Alcohol class, Stewart’s previous NHRA role, doesn’t run at Chicago, which means Stewart will be making his first passes at Route 66 Raceway. Stewart is currently the only driver that will be attempting the trifecta at Chicago – the oval track, dirt track and dragstrip.
  • Hagan has recorded three career wins at Chicago in 2010, 2013 and 2014. In 2010, he defeated Robert Hight with a 4.035 ET at 312.78 mph (compared to Hight’s 4.069 ET, 311.92 mph run). In 2013, Hagan’s 4.065 ET at 315.34 mph defeated John Force (4.113 ET at 304.80 mph). In 2014, Hagan defeated Tommy Johnson Jr. with a 4.098 ET at 310.48 mph run (compared to Johnson Jr.’s 4.147 ET at 308.50 mph). Hagan has two No. 1 qualifiers at Chicago, which came in 2016 (3.882 ET at 331.12 mph) and 2018 (3.917 ET at 326.79 mph).
  • By advancing to the Semifinals at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Hagan qualified to participate in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. The challenge brings competitive racing to the qualifying schedule at 13 regular-season events during the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series campaign, pitting semifinalists from the previous race against each other in a pair of rematches, with the two winners then matching up in the final qualifying session. Hagan earned a rematch against Daniel Wilkerson in Round 1. There is a bonus purse and bonus points for the Countdown to the Championship on the line.
  • Hagan will participate in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty autograph session on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. CDT. The session will take place at the Mission Foods Display.
  • Hagan, Pruett and Stewart will participate in a Dodge autograph session on Friday from 2:15-2:45 p.m. CDT and again on Saturday from 11:15-11:45 a.m. CDT. Both sessions will take place in the pits at the Dodge display.
  • The NHRA is hosting a Celebration of Life for Don Schumacher on Friday from 11:30-11:45 a.m. CDT, which will take place in an on-site tent next to the Nitro Mall. Pruett and Hagan will participate in an autograph session with all former DSR drivers/riders from 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fans are encouraged to walk through the tent at their leisure throughout the weekend to see various memorabilia items and photos on display.
  • The Mopar CAP (Career Automotive Program) will be partnering with TSR on Friday for the second of nine events this season. CAP consists of strategic alliances between Stellantis and over 100 colleges and trade schools teaching technical curriculum integrated into the school’s general automotive program, so that students can become certified Stellantis technicians.
  • Hagan and Stewart will run special decals at Chicago in support of Military Appreciation Month, which is celebrated every May. TSR salutes all those who serve and have served, and honors the sacrifices made by service members and their families. Three of TSR’s crew members are veterans – Thomas Brown, Kurt Johnson and Chris Shuron. Brown, who oversees body and tire preparation on Hagan’s Funny Car, was a sergeant and squad leader in the Army. Johnson, TSR’s track specialist, spent six years as a United States Marine Aircraft Fire Fighter during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Shuron, a clutch assistant who handles tire preparation on Stewart’s Top Fuel dragster, served in the Marines where he was a lance corporal.
  • DYK? Stewart is the all-time winningest NASCAR Cup Series driver at Chicagoland Speedway, which is just three miles from Route 66 Raceway. In 15 starts at Chicago, he earned three career wins (2004, 2007, 2011). In 2011, it marked the 40th win of Stewart’s NASCAR Cup Series career. That same year, he went on to win the following weekend in New Hampshire, which made him just the second driver in the eight-year history of the playoffs to open the playoffs with consecutive wins.

Tony Stewart, Driver of TSR Dodge//SRT Direct Connection Top Fuel Dragster

You’re currently the only driver that will be attempting the trifecta at Chicago – the oval track, dirt track and dragstrip. You’re also the all-time winningest NASCAR Cup Series Driver at Chicagoland Speedway. While you’ll be making your first passes on the Chicago dragstrip, how special will it be returning to the site of so many memories in other forms of racing?

“It’s honestly a lot of fun for me to be racing in a totally different discipline than I have in the past, but still going to properties and facilities that I’ve raced at in the past in NASCAR and dirt track racing. So anytime we go to a place that is somewhat familiar to me, I enjoy the opportunity to do something different there and try to rewrite the record books.”

You and wife Leah Pruett joined the NHRA for a media day in Chicago a couple weeks ago to kick-off the NHRA Route 66 Nationals. Chicago is home to eight major league sports teams. For someone in the city that’s never experienced the NHRA, what will they find when they come to Route 66 Raceway?

“I really believe no matter what form of sports they follow there’s just not an experience like what you get at a NHRA race to see cars with over 11,000 horsepower that run 300 miles per hour. It’s not something you’re going to see in downtown Chicago whether you’re at the NASCAR race or you go to a baseball game, hockey game, or football game. It’s just not the same experience. Having the opportunity once a year to go to Joliet and for people to sneak out to the edge of town and see something that they’ve never seen before is a great opportunity.”

Matt Hagan, Driver of the TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Car

You’re coming off a win at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. It marked your 50th career victory and put you in elite company with John Force, Robert Hight and Ron Capps as the only Funny Car drivers to reach that plateau. How special was that win, especially since it came at one of your home tracks? 

“It’s a great group of people to be included with when you think about the history of the sport. There have been so many great drivers and teams out there that haven’t accomplished what we’ve accomplished already in such a short amount of time, which is unreal. It’s just a testament to how important it is to keep your people together for 15 years and really work on your craft. Show up and show out and capitalize on the opportunities in front of you. It also takes good sponsors. We’ve had a relationship with Dodge for a long time now and I’ve been able to carry the banner for them. I pride myself in being a workhorse for them. I’m not pretty like Leah (Pruett) or popular like Tony (Stewart), but I am a workhorse. We get things done and we turn on win lights to win championships. We do what it takes to go out there and stay alive in the hunt. We’ve been in a position to try and win a championship almost every year of my career, which is really hard to do, given how hard it is to win just one race, much less a championship. Overall, I’m just really proud of the team that we have and the individuals working really hard to make it happen, myself included. I think it’s learning to deal with pressure, which isn’t easy. You have to turn it into a positive and rise to the occasion. We’ll take the win from Charlotte and build on it. We’re moving in the right direction and I feel really confident rolling into Chicago having won there a few times. It’s a great facility.”

With Dodge’s home base being just four hours from Chicago in Detroit, Michigan, Dodge will have a large presence at the Route 66 Nationals. How special will it be running their Direct Connection colors on your Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Car?

“Michigan is a place we consider home given Dodge being headquartered there and how involved we are in a lot of activities with them there. They have done a huge amount as far as backing us for so many years. We can’t say thank you enough to those guys and gals that continue to build upon the relationship and everything we’re doing on the track. We appreciate their support and deciding to put their marketing dollars towards our racing efforts. I’m excited to see what the future holds with them. Dodge is always known for muscle and horsepower and there’s nothing better than a nitro-fueled car to bring that to light. I’m very proud to have them with us in Chicago and excited to see some familiar faces. We’re going to put on a show for them no matter what.”

Tony Stewart Racing PR

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