TOP FUEL RACER LEAH PRITCHETT TAKING ON THE MEN TWICE THIS WEEK IN COMPETITIONS ON AND OFF THE TRACK AT ATLANTA
POSTED BY: Leah Pritchett in NEWS
Young racer ready for action on bikes and with her Gumout Top Fuel dragster
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 13, 2015) – Top Fuel dragster driver Leah Pritchett is accustomed to battling the men in the NHRA Mello Yello drag racing series.
However, this week at the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals, the attractive 26-year-old female racer will be battling the males on and off the track.
Pritchett, the Cal State University communications graduate, first will be take on the likes of pro drag racers Antron Brown, Matt Hagan, Larry Dixon, Dave Connolly and Bob Vandergriff and bicycle “spinoff” at FlyWheel Cycling Center in Alpharetta, Ga., this Thursday.
And then Pritchett will battle the world’s best Top Fuel dragster drivers this Friday through Sunday at Atlanta Dragway in search of the coveted Southern Nationals drag racing title.
“Wow, I have to go against the men on bicycles in a “spinoff” on Thursday and then take them on at the drag strip with my nitro-burning Top Fuel car,” said Pritchett, a three-time NHRA national event winner. “But I’m ready for them this week.”
Pritchett is no stranger to competing against the men in NHRA racing action after an 18-year drag racing career that takes her back as an eight-year-old in the Junior Dragster class. But the personable California native has won her share of races over the years including action at Atlanta Dragway.
“Atlanta Dragway is a driver’s track,” explained Pritchett. “There are several elements that come into play there. First, you have to be quick on and off the throttle as track conditions can be very tricky. And you can overpower the racing surface. Second, the sun can play a factor as you look down the track. We use heavily tinted helmet visors which protect our eyes there.”
Pritchett, a top-five qualifier at the Gatornationals in Florida this year, has set her sights on winning both competitions this week in Georgia.
“I’d like to start strong with a victory on the bike,” she said. “I know it won’t be easy with the guys who I am facing. They are athletic and strong. But, it’s just like on the track, I always have a chance to win.”
Leah believes her 10,000-horsepower, 325 mile-per-hour Gumout Top Fuel dragster will be in the thick of things when qualifying opens at Atlanta Dragway Friday at 4:30 p.m. EDT.
“Our Dote Racing team has been analyzing many little things on the Gumout dragster,” said Pritchett. “Now, as we go to Atlanta Dragway this weekend, we are set to qualify well and race well even in the tricky conditions that can crop up. The hot and humid air can produce some very interesting racing. We feel we are ready for a strong run this weekend.”
Pritchett has experience at Atlanta Dragway too. Leah drove at the Commerce track in 2013 as a Top Fuel “rookie” and also tested a nitro Funny Car in previous years.
“I actually lived in Buford, not too far from Atlanta Dragway, when I raced in the ProMod division a few years ago,” she said. “And I tested a Funny Car there too. So I think I know that track pretty well. Now I want to put that experience to work with a winning performance this weekend.”
Qualifying for the 16-driver Top Fuel field gets underway this Friday at 4:30 p.m. EDT. Final eliminations for the 35th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Springnationals will begin Sunday (May 17) at 11 a.m. EDT.
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Contacts: Tom Blattler, Sport Dimensions, Inc., 317-525-5692
Kinnon Marshall, Sport Dimensions, Inc., 805-701-1216