Tony Stewart, a team owner in multiple racing series, is adding an NHRA team to his portfolio of businesses, the NASCAR Hall of Famer announced Thursday. Tony Stewart Racing will field a Top Fuel car for Stewart’s fiancee, Leah Pruett, and a Funny Car for Matt Hagan.
Stewart and Pruett, who are planning to get married next month after the NHRA season ends, began discussing plans for a team after Stewart became a frequent spectator and cheerleader at Pruett’s drag races.
Stewart said he wanted to “do more than just stand and be a trophy wife next to Leah.”
Hiring Pruett and Hagan away from Don Schumacher Racing is a significant step. Pruett has won nine NHRA races and Hagan is a 39-time race winner who is also the three-time and reigning Funny Car champion.
“It’s undenaibly going to make for exactly what the NHRA needs,” Pruett said. “I’m excited to get to race with my future husband and get back on the track in a way I’ll truly enjoy racing.”
Said Hagan: “Tony is the man, honestly. … I have no doubt this is going to be a big splash in NHRA.”
Despite making 10 test runs in Pruett’s car, Stewart said he has no current plans to compete in an NHRA race. He would like to practice more before considering a race entry.
(Photo: Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today)