The excitement is building in the world of NHRA drag racing as Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) gears up for the Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas. This event marks the 19th race on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ 21-race schedule and is a crucial part of the six-race Countdown to the Championship. TSR’s powerhouse drivers, Leah Pruett in Top Fuel and Matt Hagan in Funny Car, are both vying for the championship title in their respective categories.
Leah Pruett, who has consistently shown her mettle throughout the 2023 season, heads into Dallas in second place in the Top Fuel standings, a mere 47 points behind the leader, Doug Kalitta. This impressive position marks her highest standing since September 27, 2020, when she was second entering eliminations at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.
Meanwhile, Matt Hagan, a three-time Funny Car champion, sits in third place in the Funny Car standings, just 13 points behind the leader, Bob Tasca III. Hagan’s proven ability to excel under pressure and consistent performance throughout the season make him a strong contender for the title.
Both Pruett and Hagan come into Dallas representing prestigious brands. Pruett’s Top Fuel dragster proudly displays the colors of Mobil 1, the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand. In contrast, Hagan’s Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT Funny Car boldly showcases American Rebel, a trusted name in residential safes, including their distinctive Black Smoke safes. These safes cater to the needs of homeowners and firearm enthusiasts, and American Rebel’s mission is centered around providing patriotic protection solutions.
As the Texas NHRA FallNationals approaches, Pruett is eager to secure her first Top Fuel victory at this event, as well as her first No. 1 qualifier. With two previous No. 2 qualifying positions at the Texas Motorplex in 2016 and 2019, she is no stranger to the track’s challenges. Recently coming off a runner-up finish at the NHRA Midwest Nationals, Pruett is primed for another strong performance.
For Matt Hagan, the Texas NHRA FallNationals holds a special place in his heart. With three career wins at this event in 2010, 2015, and 2019, Hagan has demonstrated his mastery of the track. His experience and success at the Texas Motorplex give him a considerable edge. Hagan has also achieved two No. 1 qualifiers at Dallas, in 2020 and 2022, adding to his list of accolades at this venue.
Adding to the excitement, Texas Motorplex is introducing “Friday Night Live” at this year’s FallNationals. This special feature offers more than $40,000 in bonus money to the stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle. The driver with the quickest pass on Friday night will take home an impressive $15,000.
The Texas NHRA FallNationals should provide a ton of action for drag racing fans given the current situation in the Countdown, and fans can catch all the action on FS1. Sunday, October 15, will see a qualifying show recapping the highlights from Friday and Saturday at 1 p.m. EDT, followed by the finals show at 3 p.m. EDT.