The Gerber Collision and Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance is set to take place this weekend in Joliet, Illinois. This event marks the sixth NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ 2023 calendar race. Two of the top contenders are Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) drivers, Leah Pruett in Top Fuel and Matt Hagan in Funny Car, both supported by Dodge Direct Connection.
Leah Pruett, driving the Dodge Direct Connection Top Fuel Dragster, is currently third in the Top Fuel standings, trailing leader Steve Torrence by 53 points. Pruett aims to secure her first victory at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals after finishing as the runner-up in 2018. This event will also mark Pruett’s 199th career Top Fuel start and her seventh appearance in Chicago.
Matt Hagan, piloting the Dodge Direct Connection Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car, is leading the Funny Car standings with a 58-point advantage over Alexis DeJoria. Hagan has enjoyed success at Chicago, having clinched victories in 2010, 2013, and 2014. He enters the event to maintain his points lead and add to his impressive track record. Hagan has participated in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, a qualifying competition held at select races, and will be seeking the bonus purse and bonus points for the Countdown to the Championship.
Both Pruett and Hagan will be sporting Sublime green-themed Dodge vehicles, bringing back the iconic color for a nostalgic touch. Direct Connection, known for its high-performance parts and factory expertise, serves as the primary partner for Pruett and Hagan in Chicago.
The Route 66 NHRA Nationals promises to be an exciting event, featuring thrilling nitro qualifying sessions, the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Funny Car Challenge, and eliminations on Sunday. Fans can catch the action live on NHRA.TV and TV coverage will be provided by FS1, with qualifying and finals shows scheduled.
Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan will also participate in autograph sessions, including the Dodge autograph session on Friday and the Mission #2Fast2Tasty autograph session on Saturday.
Additionally, the Tony Stewart-owned team will honor Military Appreciation Month by displaying special decals on their vehicles. Four members of TSR’s crew are veterans, and the team salutes all those who have served or are currently serving in the military.
With the NHRA returning to Route 66 Raceway after a gap of several years, the drivers are eager to compete at this premier facility known for its grandstands, pit area access, and proximity to the staging lanes. The event provides an opportunity for Pruett and Hagan to capitalize on their momentum and continue their strong performances in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.