Young female driver clocks 3.79, 3.80 in two Friday runs for 3rd position
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15, 2015) – Leah Pritchett said Atlanta Dragway can be tricky for the Top Fuel dragster ranks this weekend in the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals drag races.
While some of her professional rivals had troubles Friday night in the opening round of qualifications, Pritchett and her Dote Racing team were consistent as clockwork with impressive runs of 3.792 and 3.809 seconds to place third in the Top Fuel field.
Driving the bright red Gumout dragster, Pritchett, the No. 5 qualifier at this year’s NHRA Gatornationals, was one of the few drivers in the Top Fuel category to make it successfully down the 1,000-foot drag strip in the first round of qualifying. The 26-year-old Avon, Ind., driver made a full pass at 3.809 seconds and 318.17 miles per hour for third position in the first round of action.
Pritchett’s 10,000-horsepower, nitro-burning machine, tuned by Doug Kuch and Rob Flynn, returned for the evening round of qualifications with another solid pass at 3.792 seconds and 321.81 m.p.h.
Only former NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel champions Antron Brown and Tony Schumacher were quicker than Pritchett Friday at Atlanta Dragway. Brown clocked in with 3.758 second followed by Schumacher’s 3.767.
“Needless to say, the conditions were difficult tonight at Atlanta Dragway,” said Pritchett, a three-time NHRA national event winner. “Many other Top Fuel racers had a tough time getting down the track for a full run. But our Gumout dragster really hooked up well on both hits and the consistency was great too. A 3.79 and 3.80 today is an impressive performance for this Dote Racing team. I’m proud how everyone got back to basics after a tough race in Houston a few weeks ago. Now we want to continue this progress and get ready for a strong weekend.”
Qualifying continues at Atlanta Dragway Saturday with the nitro classes set for 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. EDT. Final eliminations for the 35th Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals are scheduled for 11 a.m. EDT. ESPN2 will televise qualifying Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT while the final eliminations will air at 9 p.m. EDT Sunday on ESPN2.