BAYTOWN, Tex. (April 25, 2015) – Young drag racer Leah Pritchett improved her Top Fuel performance Saturday in the final day of qualifications at Royal Purple Raceway in preparation for Sunday’s final eliminations for the 28th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Springnationals.
Pritchett, 26, recorded an impressive 3.775-second run in the middle of the day Saturday to jump to the eighth position in the 16-driver Top Fuel lineup for Sunday. Driving the Gumout dragster for Dote Racing, the California native clocked a speed of 318.77 miles per hour in Saturday’s first round action.
Again fighting the hot and humid air at the Baytown drag facility Saturday, Pritchett’s team made all four of its qualifying passes on Friday and Saturday without losing traction in the difficult track conditions. The Dote Racing squad attempted a couple of changes in the 10,000-horsepower engine in the final run of the day and the tough conditions held Leah’s time to a 3.904 seconds at 303.16 m.p.h.
On Sunday, Pritchett will compete against fellow female driver Brittany Force in the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations schedule for 11 a.m. CDT. ESPN will televise live action from Royal Purple Raceway beginning at 1 p.m. CDT.
“I know that our Gumout dragster was on a good run Friday night and we had an issue with the engine towards the finish line,” said Pritchett, in their third season of Top Fuel competition. “So I felt good that we could have a good, solid pass on Saturday. The 3.77 run felt great and the team wanted to try some different things later in the day. That second run wasn’t as good. But I’m very happy with 3.77 in the heat of the day. I think we have a good car for Sunday’s action.”
“These track and air conditions have been tough for our Gumout/Dote Racing team as well as all of the teams this weekend. But a recent test after the Gatornationals helped us with these conditions.”
Spencer Massey retained his No. 1 qualifying position from Friday night’s run in Top Fuel at 3.734 seconds, a new Royal Purple Raceway elapsed time record.
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Tom Blattler, Sport Dimensions, Inc., 317-525-5692
Kinnon Marshall, Sport Dimensions, Inc., 805-701-1216