Popular Female Racer, Dote Team Learned some valuable items for Sunday
BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 20, 2015) – The weather played games with the entire Top Fuel field Saturday in NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals qualifying at Bristol Dragway.
Five separate rain delays made for a long day with the 19-driver field as the top 16 qualifiers secured starting positions for Sunday’s final eliminations set for noon EDT. The live ESPN telecast is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday.
After the sensational unveiling of the new Gumout “Solid Gold” dragster Friday, Leah Pritchett and her Dote Racing team survived the many stoppages to qualify 13th in the final 16-driver lineup. Pritchett recorded qualifying times of 3.870 and 3.901 seconds in the two Top Fuel sessions Saturday.
Pritchett clocked a better time in Friday night’s qualifying run of 3.861 seconds. The California native will take on Spencer Massey in the first round of competition Sunday in the famed drag strip’s 50th anniversary season.
Tony Schumacher bettered his track record Saturday with a 3.745 seconds for the Top Fuel pole position.
“That was a long day but, to be honest, the delays actually helped us a bit,” said Pritchett, Southern Nationals runner-up last month. “We were able to evaluate some settings on the car and make some important changes. The car really left the line much better in the second Saturday run.”
Pritchett was pleased with her team’s adjustments Saturday and has high hopes for Sunday’s eliminations.
“With the hot and humid conditions, it is a tough read on the clutch and engine settings,” she said. “But we learned a lot today and I’m anxious to go up against Spencer again. That Schumacher team is extremely prepared and very strong. I think we’ll be ready for the first round Sunday.”