The Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals near Charlotte, North Carolina, is the fifth NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ 21-race calendar event in 2023. Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) brings its two full-time entries – one in Top Fuel for 10-time Top Fuel winner Leah Pruett and one in Funny Car for three-time Funny Car champion Matt Hagan. Hagan delivered TSR’s third victory of the season in the prior event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, driving his Haas Automation Dodge SRT HELLCAT Funny Car to his 46th career victory in the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
Coming into Charlotte, Pruett is sixth in the Top Fuel standings, 71 points behind leader Steve Torrence. Hagan leads the Funny Car standings with a 105-point advantage over Ron Capps. With his win at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Hagan is 19th in all-time NHRA tour victories and fourth among Funny Car drivers behind only John Force (155), Ron Capps (67), and Robert Hight (54).
Pruett enters Charlotte representing Rush Truck Centers on her red Top Fuel dragster. Hagan, meanwhile, sports the red, white, blue, and black colors of Operation Healing Forces (OHF) and Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage (JHG) on his Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT Funny Car.
The Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will mark Pruett’s 198th career Top Fuel start. It’ll be her 18th overall start at Charlotte and her 10th in the Four-Wide Nationals. For Hagan, the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will be his 320th career Funny Car start. It’ll be his 24th overall start at Charlotte and his 12th in the Four-Wide Nationals.
Pruett is eyeing her first victory at the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. In 2017 and 2019, she advanced to the final quad at Charlotte. In 2015, Pruett raced to a semifinal appearance at the Carolina Nationals. Pruett is seeking her first No. 1 qualifier at the event. She hoisted the winner’s Pro Modified trophy at the fall race in both 2011 and 2012 and was the No. 1 qualifier in Factory Stock in the spring event in 2018.
Hagan has three career wins at Charlotte. Two of his victories came in 2011 and 2014 during the Carolina Nationals. Hagan won the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals on April 21, 2013 (4.071 ET at 315.34 mph) when he defeated Blake Alexander (4.156 ET at 294.56 mph), Tim Wilkerson (5.141 ET at 153.39 mph) and Chad Head (10.525 ET at 67.05 mph). Hagan has raced in five final quads at Charlotte (2010, 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2019). He is seeking his first No. 1 qualifier at the event.
Hagan was the first Funny Car driver to break the four-second barrier when he completed a run of 3.995 seconds in 2011 at Charlotte. His milestone run was commemorated with a sign on the retaining wall near the starting line.
The Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will be a family affair for TSR as team owner Tony Stewart will host people from Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), the NASCAR team he co-owns with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. SHR is just nine miles north of the Kannapolis, North Carolina track.
Friday, April 28 (Nitro Qualifying, streamed live on NHRA.TV)
• Nitro qualifying session (Q1): 4:45 p.m. EDT
• Nitro qualifying session (Q2): 7:45 p.m. EDT
Saturday, April 29 (Nitro Qualifying, streamed live on NHRA.TV)
• Nitro qualifying session (Q3): 1:15 p.m. EDT
• Nitro qualifying session (Q4): 4:30 p.m. EDT
Sunday, April 30 (Nitro Eliminations, streamed live on NHRA.TV)
• Round 1: 12 p.m. EDT
• Round 2: 2:30 p.m. EDT
• Finals: 4:35 p.m. EDT
TV coverage on FS1
• Friday, April 28: Qualifying show (7 p.m. EDT)
• Sunday, April 30: Qualifying show, recapping all of Saturday’s action (12 p.m. EDT)
• Sunday, April 30: Finals show (6 p.m. EDT)
Source: TSR Nitro
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