Hagan and Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car Finish Third in NHRA Championship; Pedregon Powers Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to Win at NHRA Finals

  • In their first season of National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) competition Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) was a Funny Car championship contending team heading into the final race of the year with No. 3 qualifier Matt Hagan aboard the Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat and ultimately finished third in the standings after a first round loss ended their drive at the NHRA Finals
  • Hagan earned four Wally trophies this year on his way to his fourth consecutive top-three performance in the Funny Car championship following a runner-up finish last year and his third world title in 2020
  • Fellow Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon followed up a career-best performance in qualifying that put him No. 2 for eliminations with an impressive drive to earn his team’s first win of the season at Auto Club Raceway
  • Pedregon’s 39th career victory came by driving his HEMI®-powered Funny Car to four consecutive low 3.8-second runs including against eventual 2022 world champion Ron Capps in the final round
  • After recording her quickest elapsed time run of the season in Top Fuel qualifying at Auto Club Raceway, TSR pilot Leah Pruett took her No.4 qualified Dodge Power Brokers Top Fuel dragster to a closely contested quarterfinal battle to close out the 2022 season
November 13, 2022 , Pomona, California -  In their first year competing in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series, Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) with driver Matt Hagan at the wheel of his Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car were a championship contending team from the start of the season to this weekend’s 57th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals. Hitting the dragstrip with wins in three of the first eight national events, Hagan led the category through June, then took his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat into the NHRA’s “Countdown to the Championship” six-event playoff series where he proceeded to drive to three semifinal performances, a runner-up finish, and the team’s fourth win of the season.

Hagan qualified third for the season finale with the slim possibility remaining of sneaking past fellow championship contenders Robert Hight and Ron Capps in the points by wheeling his Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat to a final elimination appearance. In the opening round Hagan had the quicker start against No. 14 seed Steven Densham but suddenly lost traction early in the run. While Hagan tried to regain control, his opponent continued past to take the round win and ultimately ended his hopes of battling for a fourth world title.

After a runner-up finish in the championship to Capps last year, and his third world title win in 2020, Hagan closes out the 2022 season among the top-three in the Funny Car standings for a fourth straight year that also marked the tenth consecutive season with at least three wins.

Fellow Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon followed up a career-best performance in qualifying that put him in the No. 2 spot for eliminations at Auto Club Raceway, with another impressive drive on race day to earn his team’s first win of the season.

“Congratulations to Cruz Pedregon for powering his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to the win at the NHRA Finals,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer - Stellantis. “It’s great to see Cruz earn his 39th career Wally trophy and show enthusiasts what Dodge//SRT performance is all about.”

The Cruz Pedregon Racing team provided their owner and driver with a HEMI®-powered racecar that ran all eight passes of the weekend in the low three eighty (second) range. Pedregon eliminated Jason Rupert, John Force, and Alexis DeJoria to advance to his first final round of the season before facing off against No. 1 Qualifier and defending world champ Capps who had already passed Hight in the points to unofficially claim his second world title. 

The two lined up and launched within 0.001-seconds of each other for an exciting side-by-side battle in which Pedregon recorded a career-best 3.839-second run along with his fastest career speed at 335.65 mph to earn his 39th Funny Car win. Pedregon and his Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat wrap up the season sixth in the championship standings.
In Top Fuel competition, TSR’s Leah Pruett came into race day qualified fourth after recording her best elapsed time run of the season aboard her 11-thousand horsepower Dodge Power Brokers dragster. After earning her team’s first Top Fuel win in July at the Dodge Power Brokers Mile-High Nationals in Denver, Pruett was hoping to end their first season together with another memorable performance for the highlight reel. 
Her opening round against No. 12 seed Alex Laughlin added a bit of drama to the day after she launched first and had a good lead when both competitors hazed their tires and had to pedal their rides. As Pruett attempted to regain traction, a booming fireball engulfed her dragster as momentum carried her to the finish line first to turn on the win light. 
Pruett’s crew regrouped quickly and rebuilt the 11-thousand horsepower Dodge Power Brokers dragster for their quarterfinal challenge against No. 5 seed Austin Prock. Pruett moved first against Prock with stout 0.044-second reaction time to send her down the strip and a solid 3.721 sec./324.20 mph effort against her opponent’s winning 3.704 sec./329.18 mph pass en route to his event win. Pruett and her crew end up 11th in the Top Fuel standings, 301 points behind champion Brittany Force.

Leah Pruett, Tony Stewart Racing Dodge Power Brokers Top Fuel Dragster  
(No. 4 Qualifier – 3.669 seconds at 329.67 mph)

Round 1: (0.067-second reaction time, 4.959 seconds at 150.20 mph) defeats No. 12 Alex Laughlin (0.073/6.518/121.61)
Round 2: (0.044/3.721/324.20) loss to No. 5 Austin Prock (0.054/3.704/329.18)

“Our race day with the Dodge Power Brokers dragster today was the epitome of hard work and execution and embodies the team’s competitive spirit and skill. During round one, we needed to get down the track against (Alex) Laughlin who is a fierce contender. Just like many other competitors today, we had some challenges and smoked the tires. Engines don’t love when you pedal the car. Cylinders get mixed up and bad things happen. We had a huge explosion from top to bottom – from the injector down to the oil pan. We had to replace every part of the engine. Our turnaround and recovery for the second round of eliminations is what is the most impressive. We had zero problems in warmup, made our call on time and ran a very competitive .72. We didn’t believe a 3.70 was out there to be had on the track, so that’s not what we pushed for. We are very proud to be able to hang our hat on quality turnarounds and having the right parts available to piece on the car when you have the worse situation available and to be able to do it where you’re only seven-thousandths away from a win light. 

“Personally, getting a hole shot on (Austin) Prock is a highlight for me this season. I’ve been working really hard on consistency and I have my own notebook of what I do when I’m able to get it right like that and that’s got to last you four months in the off season. We finished strong and we have everything to be proud of. The recovery we had for the second round of eliminations is a reflection of our rebound this season and looking towards 2023 is going to be even more impressive.” 

Matt Hagan, Tony Stewart Racing Dodge Power Brokers Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car  
(No. 3 Qualifier – 3.844 seconds at 323.58 mph)

Round 1: (0.059-second reaction time, 6.075 seconds at 124.87 mph) loss to No. 14 seed Steven Densham (0.096/4.170/269.94)

“I have to thank Dodge Power Brokers for putting a great race car underneath me all season and Tony Stewart Racing for their phenomenal work. To be able to work for a guy like Tony Stewart has been hands down one of the best experiences of my life. He’s a solid guy and such a good dude and creates a great work environment. I'm just excited to be able to drive for him and to continue to drive for him. 

“I'm proud of my crew guys for the blood, sweat and tears they put in all year long. It's really, really tough to lose the first round like that in a championship hunt and just know that when you watch him cross the finish line over there that your season's over. It's just one of those things where it is tough because you can taste it, you know you're there, and that you're capable, but it just wasn't meant to be today.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us this off season and a lot of innovation to work on. I’m just really proud of my guys, really proud of our sponsors, and proud of the season we've had. We won four races this year, but it can always be better. All in all, I just know these guys are going to come back and we're going to be better and stronger.”

Cruz Pedregon, Cruz Pedregon Racing Snap-on® Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
(No. 2 Qualifier – 3.840 seconds at 322.58 mph)

Round 1: (0.082-second reaction time, 3.862 seconds at 333.74 mph) defeats No. 15 seed Jason Rupert (0.111/5.244/141.31)
Round 2: (0.098/3.876/330.9600 defeated No. 7 John Force (0.065/6.495/79.93)
Round 3: (0.073/3.864/331.77) defeats No. 6 Alexis DeJoria (0.077/3.880 /330.15)
Round 4: (0.070/3.839/335.65) defeats No. 1 Ron Capps (0.069/3.850/333.16)

“Every run we made put more pressure on us because our racecar  was so good. We ran 3 84, 3.84, 3 84, and I thought we cannot screw this up. There was a little extra pressure here, but my team was locked in. They were solid. They made great decisions. The track changed a little bit and some dragsters were smoking the tires, but the final round was icing on the cake to go up against my nemesis, Ron Capps. Congratulations to Ron for his two championships in a row. That's huge. But we wanted a piece of [the attention] today and we got it with a 3.83 second run and my career best speed of 335 miles per hour.”

“I really wanted to change our fortune from not having a very good year. I wanted to qualify in the top three and go to the semifinals. I thought that would be a victory for us, and we could take the off season to get ready for next year. But we exceeded that and that’s thanks to my team. Those guys worked hard. This will be a good off season for us. We'll come out next year. I just can't wait for the next season.”

Following the NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona

FUNNY CAR (season wins in parentheses)
1.  Ron Capps: 2682 (5)
2.  Robert Hight 2679 (8)
3.  Matt Hagan (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat): 2587(4)
4.  Bob Tasca III: 2504 (3)
5.  John Force: 2490 (1)
6. Cruz Pedregon (Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat): 2410 (1)
7. Alexis DeJoria: 2372 (1)
8.  J.R. Todd: 2344
9. Tim Wilkerson: 2343
10. Blake Alexander: 2199
11. Jim Campbell: 2198
TOP FUEL (season wins in parentheses)
1.  Brittany Force: 2596 (5)
2.  Antron Brown 2534 (3)
3. Austin Prock: 2514 (2)
4. Justin Ashley: 2510 (3)
5.  Mike Salinas: 2461 (4)
6. Steve Torrence: 2443 (2)
7. Josh Hart: 2419 (1)
8. Clay Millican: 2348
9. Shawn Langdon: 2339
10. Doug Kalitta: 2335
11. Leah Pruett (Dodge Power Brokers): 2265 (1)
12. Tony Schumacher: 2277(1)
@DodgeMoparMotorsports on Instagram
The @DodgeMoparMotorsports Instagram channel continues to share content capturing Dodge//SRT Mopar drivers on the track. Fans can see action from the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series and NHRA Sportsman grassroots racers, competing in classes such as Factory Stock Showdown, Stock and Super Stock, as well as additional motorsports series.

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Fans can follow all the NHRA action this season at DodgeGarage, the one-stop portal for Dodge//SRT and Mopar drag-racing news, including daily updates and access to an online racing HQ, news, events, galleries, available downloads and merchandise. Dodge is part of the portfolio of brands offered by leading global automaker and mobility provider Stellantis (NYSE: STLA).
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