Dodge/SRT and Mopar have announced their support of the newest team in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series: Tony Stewart Racing (TSR). Dodge//SRT and Mopar will be primary sponsors for Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett and three-time Funny Car World Champion Matt Hagan in TSR’s inaugural 2022 NHRA season.
“The Dodge brand has a long history of competing in and supporting motorsports.” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. “For nearly a decade, NHRA drag racing has been our primary motorsports focus, helping deliver products like the Dodge Demon, 1320 and Super Stock; cars that resonate with the Brotherhood of Muscle,” said Kuniskis. “These vehicles will hold a place in muscle-car history for years to come. The Dodge brand embodies the philosophy of the ‘last tenth,’ and we are not done pushing the performance envelope. So we are extremely excited to partner with Tony Stewart and his drag racing team to help take Dodge to the next level. Tony is a racing legend with an attitude, personality, and competitive drive that aligns perfectly with our goals.”
“I’m really pleased to have Dodge//SRT and Mopar as partners with our new NHRA venture as manufacturer and sponsor for our two entries in Top Fuel and Funny Car with Leah and Matt,” said Stewart. “It shows confidence in your program when an OEM wants to be on your team and for you to help support their program as well. They have obviously had a great relationship with both drivers for the last few years and to be able to continue that association is key to this team’s success and a huge benefit to the continuity for everyone involved.
“Having that kind of history definitely helps flatten the learning curve while raising expectations for our inaugural NHRA season,” Stewart said. “It’ll be nice to work with Dodge and Mopar again after sharing success together in USAC and the World of Outlaws nearly two decades ago. We are certainly setting the bar high and look forward to being competitive from the start.”
Tony Stewart Racing was formed in November 2000. Since its inaugural season in 2001, TSR has earned 27 owner championships, 14 in USAC, nine in the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series, and four in the All-Star Circuit of Champions TQ Midgets. TSR will embark upon its first NHRA campaign in 2022 while simultaneously running its sprint car program for a 22nd straight season. TSR’s NHRA and sprint car entries will operate out of its existing 25,000-square-foot facility in Brownsburg, Ind.
Pruett first joined forces with Dodge//SRT and Mopar in 2016 and has consistently competed among the top contenders in each of the last five seasons. The 33-year-old Redlands, Calif., native has nine Top Fuel national event victories, nine runner-up finishes, 12 No.-1 qualifier honors in 172 races, a career-best elapsed time run of 3.631 seconds and a best speed of 334.15 miles per hour. She will drive the Dodge Power Brokers Top Fuel dragster this year.
“It was very important to me to continue the close relationship I’ve had with Dodge//SRT and Mopar in this new journey with Tony Stewart Racing,” said Pruett. “I’m appreciative of the support that Dodge and Mopar and all their fans have shown me these past few years, and I’m proud to fly their colors as we move forward together and work to bring home wins and a championship in 2022.”
In addition to carrying on the legacy of drag-racing innovator and multi-time champion Garlits, representing Direct Connection has personal meaning to Pruett.
“While Dodge//SRT was developing the new Drag Pak, we were also testing and developing some of the stage kits,” Pruett said. “It seemed almost unbelievable that an OEM would make available various stage kits capable of adding so much additional power, all while maintaining the car’s warranty. To be on the presenting side of a massive program that I contributed to, while watching it progress in pure secrecy, makes me incredibly proud to run Direct Connection and Power Brokers on my Top Fuel dragster.”
With Dodge//SRT and Mopar on board, Hagan has vied for the Funny Car crown as either championship points leader or challenger heading into a season finale on seven occasions, including the 2021 season. Together, they have competed in 293 races, earning 39 Wally trophies, 32 runner-up finishes, and 43 No.-1 qualifier positions with a career best elapsed time run of 3.799 seconds and his best speed is 338.85 mph.
The 38-year-old from Christiansburg will drive his TSR HEMI®-powered machine dressed with Dodge Power Brokers and Direct Connection branding throughout the 2022 season.
“My family has been a Dodge dealer since 1979 and we’re really proud of that,” Hagan said. “We’re also ready to celebrate Mopar’s 85th anniversary this year as we battle for a championship with a few wins along the way.”
The 2022 NHRA Camping World Series season kicks off Feb. 17-20 with the Lucas Oil NHRA Winter Nationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif., the first of 22 events on the schedule, broadcasted on FOX and FS1.