Hagan Captures 50th NHRA Career Win in TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT® Funny Car at NHRA Four-Wide Nationals In Charlotte

Reigning NHRA Mission Funny Car Champion Matt Hagan made drag racing history Sunday when he scored his 50th NHRA career victory at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Direct Connection Dodge//SRT® Hellcat Funny Car.

The four-time NHRA Funny Car titleholder passed the legendary Don “The Snake” Prudhomme in NHRA career victories with an impressive “holeshot” win in the final round over a strong lineup of John Force, J.R. Todd and Daniel Wilkerson with a 3.946 run at 332.34 mph. Hagan’s spectacular reaction time of 0.029 was the difference Sunday in scoring his first 2024 NHRA national event title.

It was the fourth NHRA win for Hagan at a drag strip he considers his “home track” after taking national wins in 2011, 2013 and 2014 at the popular zMAX Dragway. The Virginia racer advanced in the first round with a 3.918 over David Richards, Austin Prock and Blake Alexander, and then won the semifinals over Wilkerson, Bob Tasca III and Richards with a 3.879 at 334.24 mph, his top speed of the year.

Hagan, who recorded the first sub-four-second run in NHRA Funny Car history at zMAX Dragway in 2011 in a Dodge Charger, moves to third in the current NHRA Mission Funny Car points standings as the NHRA national tour moves to the Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Illinois, on May 17-19. Sunday’s win was Hagan’s eleventh with Tony Stewart Racing, recorded from 2022 to 2024.

“This is a massive achievement to win 50 NHRA national events,” said Hagan. “It’s great to have Dodge with us in the winner’s circle for so many years. It’s so special to be around a great group of guys at Tony Stewart Racing. We have had the same crew for three straight years. Great people make the difference between winning and losing and this team is so strong and consistent. Dickie (Venables, crew chief), Mike Knudson, Alex Conaway and the whole team work so hard to give me a great racecar. It’s always fun to put this Dodge//SRT Hellcat in the winner’s circle.

“This 50th win just passed a legend in Don “The Snake” Prudhomme in career wins and to have four NHRA Funny Car championships with the likes of John Force, ‘Snake’ and Kenny Bernstein. I’m so honored to be with that group. This track is just two hours from my home in Virginia, so this is a home track for me. Winning four NHRA races at the zMAX Dragway in my career is special too. I have so many fans here. I actually think I outsold Tony (Stewart) in T-shirts this weekend. So, right now, we might not be the fastest car, but the crew can really race on Sundays and showed it again today. I never dreamed I would race a Funny Car, let alone win 50 races at the NHRA national level. So, it’s amazing.”

Hagan’s teammate, NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Tony Stewart, drove the TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Top Fuel dragster to the semifinals at zMAX Dragway Sunday after recording his quickest elapsed time in qualifying at 3.713 seconds. Stewart advanced to the semifinals by transferring out of the first round of eliminations with eventual race winner Justin Ashley and taking on Ashley and former World Champions Antron Brown and Brittany Force.

Stewart, in just his fifth Top Fuel race, had the quickest reaction time (0.047) at the starting line over his competition, but his 11,000-horsepower, nitro-burning dragster lost traction at half-track and he had to shut down his mount’s powerplant.

“I love the Four-Wide events,” said Stewart after the event. “Obviously, you want to make the final round and contend for a win. But we had our best qualifying run of the season (3.713). Then, in the semifinals, you have to race three of the toughest drivers in the business, and I left on all three of them. To leave on an honest light and have a great light, I’m very proud of that in my rookie year in Top Fuel. Overall, my lights were better than at Las Vegas, and I feel I’m learning with each race. And our team is gaining momentum with this Top Fuel car. I’m happy and proud of the progress of this team overall. I was extremely excited about having Matt in the final round and then win the race. It’s his 50th career NHRA Funny Car win. I’m so proud of Dickie (Venables, crew chief) and all of the Funny Car team as well. The competition in NHRA is tough and winning here in Charlotte with friends and family is special.”

Next month’s Joliet, Illinois, NHRA contest, the sixth race of the NHRA Mission Drag Racing Series, will feature the Nitro qualifying rounds scheduled for Friday, May 17, at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. CDT. Saturday’s Nitro qualifying sessions will get underway at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. CDT. Sunday’s Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 Nationals eliminations are set for Sunday, May 19, at 11 a.m. CDT. The final eliminations will be televised on Sunday, May 19, at 4 p.m. EDT and 10 p.m. EDT on Fox Sports 1.

1 Comment


Way to go Matt and Tony! Keep it going! TSR has a hellava team…oh and sponsor too!:smiling_imp::+1: