Female Racer Clocks 3rd Best Top Fuel Run in 3rd Round of Action
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 23, 2015) – Violent thunderstorms postponed the fourth round of Top Fuel qualifying Saturday in the NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park but female racer Leah Pritchett continued to improve her performance in the third round in the Gumout Top Fueler.
Despite the rain-shortened qualifying sessions, Pritchett took her Gumout/Dote Racing dragster to an impressive 3.766-second run at 319.52 miles per hour Saturday afternoon for the third best Top Fuel run of the day in the Memorial Weekend drag racing event.
Pritchett, runner-up last weekend at Atlanta Dragway, had to settle for the eighth overall qualifying position Saturday after the final qualifying round was washed out. Pritchett will take on three-time NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel series champion Larry Dixon in the opening round of final eliminations set for Sunday at 11 a.m. CDT.
Last Sunday, Pritchett defeated Dixon in the semi-finals to advance to her first Top Fuel final round appearance. Leah lost to Antron Brown in the final round at Atlanta.
Brown continued his strong showings by collecting the No. 1 qualifying position Saturday at Topeka with a 3.727-second reading, a new track record.
“Our third round pass was a very strong run during the middle of the day,” said Pritchett, former Nostalgia Funny Car World Champion. “We were really looking forward to the second Saturday hit with the Gumout dragster. In the cooler temperatures, you can be aggressive with the engine setup and clutch adjustments to run some really solid numbers. Unfortunately, we didn’t get that opportunity Saturday at Topeka.”
Now, Pritchett and her Dote Racing crew, led by Doug Kuch and Rob Flynn, concentrate on their eliminations settings as the Ohio-based squad seeks another final round appearance Sunday in the Kansas Nationals.
“We made the final round last week and now we want to win that final round matchup,” said Pritchett, a three-time NHRA national event winner in the ProMod class. “The Top Fuel division is extremely competitive but we feel good about our chances. Our goal is to win the race.”