There has been a lot of excitement after the official announcement of Dodge//SRT and Mopar partnering with Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) for the team’s inaugural season in the 2022 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series.
The team will consist of both Top Fuel and Funny Car entries, with 9-time Top Fuel event winner Leah Pruett and 3-time Funny Car World Champion (2011, 2014, and 2020) Matt Hagan piloting Dodge//SRT and Mopar factory-backed cars.
Although it is new to NHRA, TSR was formed in November 2000. Since its inaugural season in 2001, TSR has earned 27 owner championships – 14 in USAC, nine in the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series, and four in the All-Star Circuit of Champions TQ Midgets. While TSR campaigns in its first year of NHRA competition in 2022, it will simultaneously run its sprint car program for a 22nd straight season. TSR’s NHRA and sprint car entries will operate out of its existing 25,000-square-foot facility in Brownsburg, Indiana.
For Leah Pruett, her Top Fuel team is brand new for the 2022 season. Led by one of Pruett’s Co-Crew Chiefs at Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Neal Strausbaugh, Pruett and Strausbaugh have been working together since 2019.
Neal has been an Assistant Crew Chief since 2008 in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, with Cory McClenathan in Top Fuel, Tony Schumacher in Top Fuel, Jack Beckman in Funny Car, and now Pruett. Together Stratusbaugh and Stewart have put together a team in record time and have been hard at work getting things set for the season opener in Pomona.
Pruett’s team has been working late nights, 6 days a week since the off-season began, building a series of new cars for Leah to run throughout the season. Pruett who married Tony Stewart on November 21st in Mexico, has taken an important role with the overall operations at the Brownsburg facility.
As for the Funny Car team of Matt Hagan, the team remains mostly untouched from last year despite the move from DSR. Dickie Venables will continue to tune Hagan’s car for 2022. The team carries over most of the equipment they used to place a runner-up finish in the championship points last year. Venables has been Hagan’s Crew Chief since 2013 and has been part of two of Hagan’s three championship wins.
The team looks to be in the best position to continue its success after leaving DSR.
The NHRA was fortunate enough to get an inside look at the operations at TSR this past week. You can watch that video above.
The 2022 NHRA Camping World Series season kicks off Thursday, February 17th to Sunday, February 20th with the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California, the first of 22 events on the schedule. The event will be broadcasted on FOX and FS1.
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