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Tony Stewart, Matt Hagan Ready for Special Weekend Representing Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage

Tony Stewart and Matt Hagan are gearing up to compete at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, held from June 7-9 at Bristol Dragway. Representing Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage (JHG), both drivers are ready to showcase their skills in this thrilling mid-season event.

Tony Stewart, driving the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster, enters the Thunder Valley Nationals in ninth place in the Top Fuel standings, trailing leader Justin Ashley by 221 points. This race will mark Stewart’s eighth career Top Fuel start and his first at Bristol Dragway.

Reflecting on the opportunity to represent JHG, Stewart said, “Jason (Johnson) is one of those guys that is super cool to hang out with and he has turned into family here at TSR. To get him on the Top Fuel car and be able to represent him and his family is really special. I’m excited and hope we perform well for him. We want to perform well for all of our partners, but Jason does it for the passion. I want to represent him well.”

Matt Hagan, behind the wheel of the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Dodge//SRT Hellcat Funny Car, currently stands third in the Funny Car standings, 68 points behind leader Austin Prock. The Thunder Valley Nationals will be Hagan’s 340th career Funny Car start and his 15th at Bristol. Hagan, a Bristol native, views this race as a homecoming event filled with friends, family, and local supporters.

“Bristol is two hours from me, so you see all the people you grew up with and have supported you racing,” Hagan shared. “Bristol is a bit of a challenging track with the tunnel, especially in the left lane, so you hope to keep lane choice to go some rounds. We have to learn to navigate the track no matter what. What makes it so great is that Bristol is a Bruton Smith track and his facilities are always great. It has beautiful scenery cut through the mountains. It’s loud and fast and just cool. Anytime we get to race there, it’s just special. We have a lot of fans, friends, and family that will be out there supporting us, so I’d love to win for them.”

Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage, founded in 2021, is driven by a passion for the automotive world, spanning Jason Johnson’s impressive car collection of over 200 vehicles, from classics to supercars. JHG’s mission is to preserve and showcase the automotive industry, driving these vehicles to events to inspire and celebrate car culture.

The NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals mark the halfway point of the regular season, leading up to the Countdown. Both Stewart and Hagan are focused on carrying their momentum through the second half of the season.

Stewart commented, “Following Epping, I feel really good about where our team is at. You can never say you’re in the hunt after just one event, but we are definitely gaining on it and getting closer to where we need to be. My head is high because I feel like our team gained a ton between Chicago and Epping. I’m a happy driver and a happy owner.”

Hagan added, “I think our team has been a well-oiled machine for a long time now. We’ve been together over 15 years. We’ve had a couple of guys come in and out, but over the last couple of years, we’ve been able to keep our crew. Being well-oiled season-after-season only allows us to stay in the groove of things as the year passes. I have one hundred percent confidence in my guys every time we roll up to the starting line.”

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Both drivers are eagerly anticipating the challenges and excitement of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. With JHG’s support and the dedication of their teams, Stewart and Hagan are poised to make a significant impact in Bristol and continue their strong performances throughout the season.

This story was originally published on June 6, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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