The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) was shaken up last month when three-time NASCAR Cup champion, Tony Stewart announced he would be fielding two entries (1 for Top Fuel, 1 for Funny Car) for the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Stewart also announced his Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver lineup which consists of his fiancée and the NHRA 2018 Factory Stock Showdown Champion Leah Pruett and three-time NHRA Funny Car champion Matt Hagan.
The news caused a rift in the Mopar world, with what could be the loss of the two biggest ambassadors for the Dodge and Mopar brands. Without TSR making an acknowledgment of a manufacturer for its program at the press conference, many people started discussing the possibility that Mopar and Dodge could back the new Stewart NHRA teams.
Stewart currently has a large alliance with Ford Motor Company through his NASCAR and World of Outlaws (WoO) teams. Ford Motor Company currently has partnerships in NHRA, especially in Funny Car competition with owner/driver Bob Tasca III.
At the recent NHRA race in Pomona, we learned that Hagan’s entire team will transition to TSR with Hagan.
Recent rumors have Dodge and Mopar joining TSR and supporting not only Stewart’s NHRA and WoO operations, but say Dodge could be tapping Stewart for a return to NASCAR competition through his Stewart-Haas Racing operation which he co-owns with CNC automation mogul, Gene Haas.
In a recent interview with Ralph Sheheen of SpeedSport TV (shown above), Stewart officially said that we could start hearing about sponsorships for his NHRA teams starting at the 33rd Annual 2021 Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. The event kicks off Thursday, December 9th, and goes through Saturday, December 11th.
Hopefully, an announcement of an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) at the PRI show will shed some light on the rumors and showcase if Dodge and Mopar will keep their ambassadors for the brands.
If TSR decides to continue its partnership with Ford for its entries in NHRA, it will mean a massive loss to the Dodge//SRT and Mopar brands.