There’s nothing like winning the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals, which stands alone as the pinnacle of drag racing. It’s a feeling Tony Stewart Racing’s Matt Hagan and Leah Pruett hope to enjoy at this weekend’s 69th annual spectacle at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, where it’s possible the Big Go might be just a little more for the standout duo.
The world’s biggest drag race also serves as Hagan’s and Pruett’s sponsor’s race, putting an even bigger emphasis on the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals. Approaching seven decades, the Big Go has a chance to be legendary for Hagan in the Funny Car ranks and Pruett in Top Fuel, as well as for Stewart, who will also be racing Top Alcohol Dragster in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series ranks.
Hagan has enjoyed the feeling before, winning on drag racing’s grandest stage in 2016, but the three-time champion, who is currently second in points, is eager to try and do it again facing off against a loaded field that includes points leader – and defending winner – Ron Capps and the legendary John Force. Hagan has won four times in 2023, but a fifth to close out the regular season would certainly be extra special for the veteran in his 11,000-horsepower Dodge Direct Connection Charger SRT Hellcat.
“I’ve been very blessed to be able to win the NHRA U.S. Nationals with Dodge on the side of the car and to have them sponsor the race, we’re just so blessed to have just a great partner for so long,” Hagan said. “I don’t think they could be happier with TSR and this foundation we’ve built. It’s something special with this partner, and I’m glad to be a part of it. I have nothing but good feelings heading into this race, and this is the biggest race of the year for us. There’s a lot of opportunities for us to excel this weekend.”
Pruett has enjoyed her own Indy success but is looking for her Top Fuel breakthrough at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals. She won in Factory Stock Showdown five years ago, and a Top Fuel triumph in her 11,000-horsepower Dodge Direct Connection dragster would be massive for Pruett.
After a runner-up in Brainerd, Pruett has momentum and is currently fifth in points in a loaded field that includes points leader Justin Ashley, defending event winner Antron Brown, and reigning world champ Brittany Force. Pruett, though, can add another major milestone in her career with an Indy win this weekend.
“Getting a Top Fuel win at Indy would mean completion,” Pruett said. “People ask what my favorite memory is from the U.S. Nationals and undoubtedly it is winning Factory Stock [in 2018]. I’ve gotten close in Top Fuel [2020, runner-up] so I still don’t know what it feels like to win that race in the Top Fuel car. I can’t say what it’ll mean to win that race until it happens, and it probably will be an entire new feeling of euphoria that I’ve never felt before.”
Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won the 2022 Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals. This year’s race will be broadcast on the FOX broadcast network and FOX Sports 1 (FS1), including eliminations coverage starting at noon ET on Monday on FS1 and continuing at 2 p.m. on FOX. The event also features the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports, and Flexjet NHRA Factory Stock Showdown. Plus, fans can enjoy a host of specialty events, including the Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout, the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, the Dodge HEMI Challenge, the Rooftec NHRA Competition Eliminator Cash Clash, and more.
Off the track, there’s plenty for fans to enjoy, including the Nitro Alley Stage, which creates a festive atmosphere at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals. Autograph sessions will take place throughout the event, and fans can participate in the SealMaster NHRA Track Walk during the pre-race ceremony on championship Monday. As always, all fans get a pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled attraction in motorsports.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals will feature one round at 5:45 p.m. ET on Friday, two rounds on Saturday at 2:15 and 5:45 p.m., and the final two rounds on Sunday at 12:15 and 3:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on Monday. The Pep Boys NHRA Funny Car All-Star Callout begins at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, with the semifinals at 3:20 p.m. and the finals at 5:15 p.m.
Television coverage starts on FS1 from 11:30-1:30 p.m. on Sunday and then coverage of the Callout on FOX from 4-5:30 p.m. Qualifying action will continue from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Sunday on FS1. On Monday, coverage from eliminations will begin at noon on FS1 and continue on FOX from 2-5 p.m.
To purchase tickets to the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals, fans can visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Single-day tickets for the Top Eliminator Club are also on sale, putting fans even closer to the action. Children 12 and under will be admitted free in the general admission area with a paid adult.