Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver Matt Hagan drove his Dodge Power Brokers Funny Car to a final round appearance in the Pep Boys National Hot Rod Association’s (NHRA) All-Star Callout specialty race that took place during Sunday qualifying ahead of Monday’s main event; the 68th Annual Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
Hagan and his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat were among eight Funny Car drivers to take part in the race-within-a-race battle for bragging rights and $80,000 cash prize. For his first pick, Hagan “called out” and defeated Alexis DeJoria as payback for defeating him in the semifinals of the 2021 NHRA Finals at Pomona to end his championship bid.
Hagan moved on to the Callout semifinals, which did not count as an official qualifying run, to battle Robert Hight against whom he had the starting line advantage and turned on the win light with a 4.180-second run @ 255.73 mph while his opponent (10.119 @ 82.57) lost traction at the hit of the throttle.
Advancing to his first final elimination in five career specialty race appearances, Hagan staged his HEMI-powered ride next to Ron Capps who had earned lane choice with his previous run. The two competitors had an exciting side-by-side battle with Hagan’s quicker 3.900 sec. @ 328.86 mph run overshadowed by Capps’ deep stage starting line advantage and slower 3.936 sec. @ 330 mph pass for the holeshot win and a four thousandths-of-a-second margin of victory.
While disappointed with the runner-up result, Hagan was pleased with his team’s efforts during the five qualifying opportunities they had to prepare his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to put him in the top half of the eliminations ladder for the legendary event known as the “Big Go”. His best qualifying performance came Saturday night with a 3.892 sec. @ 333.41 mph pass to put him in the No. 7 spot and set up a first-round meeting with DeJoria in his quest for a second (2016) Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals title win.
TSR pilot Leah Pruett will begin her race day from the No. 10 spot on the Top Fuel eliminations ladder after recording her best lap of 3.725 sec. @ 332.51 mph aboard the Dodge Power Brokers dragster in the Saturday evening session. She’ll have Billy Torrence as her first-round opponent as she begins the pursuit of her first Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals Wally after coming close with her runner-up performance in 2020.
A three-time winner at the world’s biggest and best-known drag racing competition, Cruz Pedregon qualified his Snap-on Tools Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat No. 9 on the Funny Car eliminations ladder with a 3.906-second effort @ 324.83 mph, the fifth quickest run of the first session of the weekend. Pedregon will stage next to J.R. Todd for the opening round of the Labor Day classic.
Dodge Power Brokers U.S. Nationals eliminations coverage will begin Monday, Sept. 5th, on FS1 at noon ET, continue on FOX at 2:00 p.m., and conclude with live final round action. Fans can also view all on-track activity in real time via NHRA.TV and its subscription-based, video-on-demand coverage throughout the event.
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