• Nick Cavanaugh @Car_Sick_Nick

Hagan Drives Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car to First NHRA Gatornationals Win

Matt Hagans earns his first NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals win and Tony Stewart Racings first nitro victory



Matt Hagan powered his #Dodge Power Brokers #Charger #SRT #Hellcat to earn his 40th career milestone bringing home the #Gatornationals Wally trophy for the Tony Stewart Racing Team in the National Hot Rod Association (#NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series Amalie Motor Oil Gatornational in Gainesville, Florida.



Dodge Brand CEO, Tim Kuniskis, gave a heartfelt congratulations to both Matt Hagan and his team stating “It’s great to see Matt earn his 40th career win and continue to demonstrate what Dodge//SRT performance looks like and what enthusiasts can expect from Dodge Power Brokers and Direct Connection.”



Despite the unfavorable cold weather, Hagan took on competitors like Dave Richards , Chad Green, Terry Haddock, and Blake Alexander. Having faced each racer on a solo run, Hagan was still able to impressively latch on to the trophy with his win against No.6, Blake Alexander on his 3.910-second/330.96-mph run.



Tony Stewart, Team Lead and Owner of Tony Stewart Racing was highly appreciative of the wins of his racers and the support from the Dodge//SRT and Mopar brands in the competition. “Our NHRA Nitro team is appreciative of the long-standing relationship our drivers Matt Hagan and Leah Pruett have had with Dodge//SRT and Mopar. Everyone in racing knows the value of OEM support and its importance to a team’s success, so we’re pleased to have that relationship with Dodge in drag racing and how that quickly culminated in our first Funny Car win at the NHRA Gatornationals.”



Matt Hagan made it known that this was a major career accomplishment and was happy to get this win, not just for himself but his team. “To get this first win at the Gatornationals and Tony Stewart’s first win in a drag car, it’s pretty awesome. He wants to be here and it says a lot for our sport. It was a good weekend for Tony, a good weekend for NHRA and I’m just very blessed and humbled to be here. I want to make sure I’m showing up on the starting line and doing my part and I just know what this team is capable of. It’s a lot of tough competition, but as a driver that’s exciting.”



The NHRA competition only gets better for the Tony Stewart Racing team as their first national event win places the team on an exclusive list of team owners the likes of Ray Beadle, Kenny Bernstein, Joe Gibbs and Jack Roush.



For TSR pilot, Leah Pruett, her dreams of qualifying in the Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout has been cut short due to some traction issues that eliminated her during the first round. Also, due to the weather delays, the Pep Boys NHRA Top Fuel All-Star Callout will now be held at the Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in September.

Although, hitting a 5.125 seconds at 227.34 mph in her Dodge Power Brokers Charger wasn't enough to move her forward to the qualifying round Pruett was in good spirits saying “I have to say the Gators (Gatornationals) definitely got us. When we went up there for the Pep Boys All-Star Top Fuel Callout, we went to race, compete and throw down a low 70s or high 60s number. Ultimately, we just didn’t have enough power and that goes back to our database. The positive side of that is we have already regrouped and found the issues. We have a positive mindset as a team. When you have something so early on that you can identify, you can infuse hope and faith into the power plans that we have. It is unfortunate because we didn’t realize that one run would be the final qualifying session. There are a couple of other big teams that also didn’t qualify with their one hit wonder. This is not a one team wonder by any means. We will figure it out, it’s just going to take laps. I truly have all the faith in this team and we will get our round wins.”



Pruett and the TSR team known for never going down without a fight is determined to channel efforts in the forthcoming April edition of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals set to take place at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.



On the other hand, last weekend, fans from far and wide came to witness the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown (FSS) qualifying session which was highlighted by the 2021 Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak setting the category’s quickest and fastest run ever. Here is the run down of the outstanding performances:


  • Mark Pawuk and his Empaco Equipment Mopar Drag Pak hit an impressive 7.608-second elapsed time pass at 183.15 mph which placed him in the No. 1 qualifier position.


  • No. 3 qualifier Warren Walcher advanced his 2021 Mopar Drag Pak to the semifinals in just his second FSS competition after posting his own impressive qualifying performance(7.669 sec./180.79 mph)


  • Pawuk’s HEMI-powered machine had a red-light start in the quarterfinals to end his day, quicker than the previous national elapsed time record (7.718 seconds).


  • Walcher takes a bow at the first round due to technical issue that caused the inability of his team’s to make the call to stage for another round of competition.



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