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Tony Stewart Racing NITRO's Matt Hagan Reignites Funny Car Battle, Wins NHRA Midwest Nationals Wally

From Kelly Wade | NHRA

MADISON, Ill. (Oct. 01, 2023) – Matt Hagan picked up his fifth win of the season for Tony Stewart Racing's TSR Nitro on Sunday at World Wide Technology Raceway with a defeat of reigning world champion Ron Capps in the final round in front of a huge crowd at the 12th annual NHRA Midwest Nationals.

Hagan went 3.99-second at 324 mph in his American Rebel Dodge Charger to slip past Capps’ run of 4.02, 306 and earn his 48th career win. The three-time world champ also pulled to within less than a round of first place; he now trails Bob Tasca III by just 13 points heading into the final three races of the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.

Hagan defeated Alexis DeJoria, John Force, and Tasca to reach the 86th final round of his career.

“We knew we had to win this race to be in the hunt for this thing,” said Hagan. “It feels like it's meant to be, and I'm just enjoying the ride. [The team] sat down and looked across from each other, and it's one of those things where you go, I'm going to dig for you, you dig for me, let's make this happen. I think that's what makes it happen, having a core group of guys you want to work hard for. You want to show up for them, and today they all showed up for me, and I felt like I showed up for them.

“The pressure is huge. I was telling [crew chief] Dickie Venables, damn, this is a lot of pressure, but that's what you want. That's what we're here for. If we didn't have the pressure, that means we didn’t have a shot. The pressure was huge – you just have to find a way to capitalize on it.”

Capps reached the final round for the seventh time in 2023 and the 147th time in his career after defeating Tim Wilkerson, Alex Laughlin, and Blake Alexander. Tasca leads Hight by just six points – marking the first time Tasca has held the points lead in the playoffs – with Capps only 33 points back in fourth.

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship continues with race four of six at the Stampede of Speed at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas for the NHRA FallNationals Oct. 13-15.

See the latest from the NHRA:

NHRA Midwest Nationals Saturday Gallery:

Unofficial Camping World points standings:

Photo's: NHRA


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