Six wins pushed the momentum which carried over for three losses that made a fourth championship possible. That’s racing…

It was 2023 NHRA season closer in Pomona, CA for the In-N-Out Burger Finals in November. Matt Hagan, Robert Hight, and Bob Tasca III came in looking ahead to a possible championship. All three took the first round wins. All three dropped the second round. The racing points math added up with Hagan on top.

Matt Hagan is from Virginia with family ties to the Shelor dealerships in Christiansburg and, yes, the Pulaski County Motorsports Park (Motor Mile Speedway). As such, there was a VIP, fan celebration open house at Shelor Toyota on Saturday, December 16th. Hagan has done this before with championship celebrations but this one was just a little different. This one included NASCAR champion and race team owner, Tony Stewart.

Stewart is a 3 time NASCAR champion, an IndyCar champion, USAC champion and part of Stewart-Haas Racing and NHRA Tony Stewart Racing owner. The latter team includes Matt Hagan and Leah Pruett, who also happens to be Stewart’s wife. Tony is driving, of course, with the SRX series that he has a stake in and is also taking the wheel on the drag strip. When asked about preferences he said it isn’t about that. “It’s not about NASCAR over drag racing or even the speed”, he said. “It is liking the experience of driving and liking the car you’re in and being in that moment of it.”

Tony Stewart and Leah Pruett (center) with fans at Matt Hagan championship party

All three were present and pleasant and the fans came by to talk racing and get some autographs. The food was, in short, marvelous. (Yes, of course I had a few bites…) Hagan’s funny car was there and trophies were staged in rows with a huge Christmas tree at center. Helmets, suits and displays showcased a winning career.

Matt Hagan (right) with James Clay of Bimmerworld (Bimmerworld Racing / Dublin VA

Matt sported a proud mustache and a bright, white cowboy hat. Stewart and Leah sat together welcoming fans and guests as Matt stood center stage with the tree and trophies for photos.

As far as racing Christmas parties go this one was pretty good…

*And yes, there were questions asked about the future of the “Pulaski County” race track. The answers were along the lines of “we don’t know” and there are “still some plans to be settled” and “details are being reviewed”. The definitive answer is that there wasn’t one. We’ll all wait for 2024 and further news.

Thank you, Matt Hagan, Tony Stewart and Leah Pruett… And the folks at Shelor, for opening the doors and allowing the fans and friends to share some of those championships.

Photo Gallery – Matt Hagan Championship Party at Shelor Toyota – December 16, 2023

Traveling the world without going anywhere. On a weekend on the edge of “Earth Day”, this seems largely appropriate.

It is racing across state, cultural and international lines through the convenience of a wide screen HDTV in the living room. The variety of the countryside and the racing is incredible.

Sports cars rattled the streets of Long Beach, CA., with American Le Mans. On the eastern side of the U.S., Grand-Am was at Road Atlanta. Formula 1 was racing near the Persian Gulf in Bahrain. NASCAR was in the open spaces of Kansas. The NHRA was chasing speed in Charlotte. IndyCar followed up back at Long beach.

That is just a highlight of some of the major series. Racing in the streets. Racing across the ocean. Racing in the wide, open spaces. The diversity of scenery and personalities presented in a blur of the background.

However, as we turn towards what is regarded as “Earth Day”, too many people still look at auto racing with prejudice and scorn. They only see burnt fuel and beer-topped fans. (more…)

Mid-October and racing is going into the final laps. Indy was done a while ago. Grand-Am is done. American Le Mans closes this weekend. NASCAR has a hadfull of races left. Formula 1 also has a few left, including the return to America. NHRA still has a couple left…

Ryan Hunter-Reay won the IndyCar title. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won the Daytona Prototypes with Chip Ganassi Racing in Grand-Am. The GT title was driven away with Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato for AIM Autosport. The classes of American Le Mans have been mathematically clinched heading into an all out race to win for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

NASCAR is at Kansas this weekend, then on to Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead. Brad Keselowski is currently edging the points. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is still nursing a concussion and should be back by Martinsville. (more…)