Tony Stewart joins NHRA with fiancé Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan – Motorsports

Concord, NC-Women came first, then the fastest car in the race.

Tony Stewart, who fell in love with the NHRA while tagging with his fiancé Leah Pruett in the last two seasons of the race, will become part of the sport’s official in 2022. NASCAR Hall of Fame drivers add two full-time NHRA entries. Next Season Tony Stewart Racing-Pruet’s Top Fuel Entry and Matt Hargan’s Funny Car.

“It’s a sport I’m absolutely passionate about, and controlling my destiny with my husband almost is a very unique opportunity,” Plouette told The Associated Press. “It’s an experience and opportunity that no one can miss, and I want to apply all my talents in partnership to something grand with someone who shares the same goals. I feel like I’ve prepared my entire life for him. “

Prett and Hagan are currently competing for Don Schumacher Racing. Don Schumacher Racing announced on Wednesday that eight-time top fuel champion Tony Schumacher will return to the team full-time and pair with Plett’s current crew chief.

Following his announcement on Thursday, Stewart said the new NHRA team will work with his sprint car team at TSR’s existing 25,000-square-foot facility in Brownsburg, Indiana. Stewart, co-owner of the NASCAR team Stewart Hearth Racing, has won 27 owner championships in sprint car races.

“It wasn’t until I met Leah, started racing regularly, and saw the strategy and preparation in person that I really understood it,” Stewart told AP. “I’ve been frustrating by asking everyone in the paddock a lot of questions, including Don Schumacher. The more I learned about drag racing, the more I didn’t want to be a spectator. I wanted to play a role and everyone participated. It was .. “

Plett participated in drag racing in the Junior League at the age of eight in the 25th season of the NHRA. She won the 2010 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series Championship in the Nostalgia Funny Car Class and has been a top fuel player for the past eight years.

The 33-year-old has fulfilled his dual obligations for several years and has also participated in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown. She won Schumacher’s 2018 title.

Hagan, who has been driving for Schumacher since 2009, is a three-time active Fanny Curchampion. He is currently leading Funny Car with three races remaining during the season. He has won 39 events.

“Don Schumacher is a big chapter in my racing career and has won many trophies and multiple championships together,” said Hagan. “This next chapter with Tony Stewart is the one I’m excited about. I’m ready to go to the race. I jump into this new program with both feet and I’m confident in the packaging I’ll bring to the 2022 season. At TSR. “

Stewart is expected to become NHRA’s Dodge team as TSR will be Schumacher’s customer, but did not announce the manufacturer on Thursday. Stewart Haas Racing is NASCAR’s Ford team, and Ford is also competing in the NHRA, helping Stewart learn to drive a dragster ever since he was absorbed in the racing series.

Stewart and Plouette are set to marry next month, and three NASCAR champions said they will refrain from their honeymoon for the opening round of the NHRA season from February 17th to 20th at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

Neither expects tension to form in this new chapter of their relationship, which Plouette clearly defined as “I am Tony Stewart Racing’s top fuel driver.”

“I think it’s okay, that is, it won’t be a flat line. There will be a pulsation there because we have a heart and they are beating,” Plouette said. “But I know this works. I was able to see what happened in other series, teams and tracks and understand his thinking process of solving problems and coming up with solutions.

“It made me like,’I know where his head and heart are, someone I want to work with.'” He said he was moving forward and working with him. , This is not to dive into the unknown. I’ve seen first-hand how he works. “

Stewart said he and Prett had little discussion about how to manage new business relationships.

“I understand what must happen from the professional side, and the race side is the race side,” Stewart said. “You don’t bring professional work to the personal side. And vice versa. Lear is a wise woman, a wise businessman, and that the owner and the driver must be different. I understand. I don’t think so. It creates an unhealthy environment for me to be the owner of the car and her driver.

“I don’t think this puts us in relation to any kind of binding or plight. There’s no reason we can’t do it well.”

– Motorsports

Tony Stewart joins NHRA with fiancé Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan Tony Stewart joins NHRA with fiancé Leah Pruett and Matt Hagan

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