TSR grabs rounds in NHRA debut

Nobody will ever accuse Tony Stewart of lacking ambition. The three-time NASCAR Cup champion and hall of famer owns a multi-car NASCAR team, a World of Outlaws operation, a historic speedway, a Sprint car sanctioning body and founded the SRX made-for-TV showdown for racing legends, just for openers. Following his nuptials with Leah Pruett, Tony Stewart Racing has also joined the straight-line crowd, and made a notable debut at the National Hot Rod Association’s historic season opener, the Winternationals at Pomona, California.

Success in pro-level drag racing is measured in large part by the number of elimination rounds you advance once competition starts. By that standard, TSR shoe Matt Hagan, a three-time Funny Car king with the NHRA, grabbed the number-three spot in Funny Car qualifying and advanced to the semifinal round, where TSR’s 500-cu.in. nitro Hemi swallowed a cylinder during a loss to Robert Hight. As for Mrs. Stewart, Pruett powered to the number 7 slot on the qualified ladder in Top Fuel before being stopped in the opening round by Antron Brown. The NHRA pros are in Phoenix this weekend, two weeks before their annual Florida stop during the historic Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, where we’ll be in attendance.

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