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Stewart’s Top Fuel Debut and Hagan’s Funny Car Defense in Dodge SRT Hellcat at 55th NHRA Gatornationals

Stewart's Top Fuel Debut and Hagan's Funny Car Defense in Dodge SRT Hellcat at 55th NHRA Gatornationals

In March 2024, all eyes in the motorsports world were fixed on the NHRA Amalie Gatornationals as NASCAR legend Tony Stewart stepped into the Top Fuel scene for the first time in his career. The 55th annual event marked Stewart’s debut in the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) Dodge//SRT Direct Connection dragster, adding yet another chapter to his illustrious racing journey.

With championships under his belt in NASCAR, IndyCar, and USAC, Stewart isn’t a stranger to success on the track. But diving into the high-powered world of Top Fuel drag racing presented a new and formidable challenge. Trading the familiar roar of stock cars for the thunderous rumble of an 11,000-horsepower Dodge dragster, Stewart embraced the learning curve with characteristic determination.

Guided by his wife Leah Pruett, who decided to step back from racing to focus on starting a family, Stewart tackled the complexities of piloting a Top Fuel machine. Every lap, every run, was a crucial opportunity to grasp the nuances of this new discipline. Unlike the repetition of NASCAR or IndyCar testing, where laps come by the dozen, mastering a dragster demanded a different approach—precision over volume.

Meanwhile, Stewart’s TSR teammate, the seasoned Matt Hagan, aimed to defend his Funny Car title at Gainesville. Hagan, no stranger to victory, sought his third consecutive Gatornationals win in the TSR Direct Connection Dodge//SRT Hellcat. With four NHRA World Funny Car Championships to his name, Hagan’s track record spoke volumes, and his sights were set on another milestone: his 50th career triumph.

As Hagan prepared to roar down the strip once again, Stewart and his team fine-tuned their dragster, drawing on recent testing sessions to hone their performance. Both drivers unveiled fresh liveries for their Dodge//SRT machines, signaling their readiness to tackle the challenges ahead.

With Stewart embarking on a new chapter and Hagan poised for another shot at glory, the NHRA Gatornationals promised excitement, adrenaline, and the thrill of high-speed competition. For motorsports enthusiasts, it was a weekend not to be missed—a showcase of skill, determination, and the relentless pursuit of victory.

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