Popular Female Racer Shows Consistency with a 3.86 and 3.90 in Friday Qualifying
BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 19, 2015) – Leah Pritchett and Dote Racing received a lot of attention Friday at Bristol Dragway with the debut of the Gumout ‘Solid Gold” Top Fuel dragster at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals drag races.
A bright, shiny gold 10,000-horsepower beast was unveiled Friday afternoon before a large crowd in the Nitro Alley pit area with the introduction of the Gumout Expert Series branding with Pritchett, team co-owner Connie Dote and the experienced Top Fuel crew.
Pritchett, the 27-year-old California native, then drove the new-look Gumout dragster to two consistent runs Friday evening in the hot, humid air in Thunder Valley with times of 3.861 seconds (at 319.60 miles per hour) and 3.909 seconds (at 309.27 m.p.h.).
“I thought the launch of the new Gumout Expert Series branding was great this week,” said Pritchett, who placed 11th in Friday’s 18-driver Top Fuel qualifying field. “We have had a great deal of attention on the new ‘Solid Gold’ car and we really wanted to make two solid runs Friday. We actually backed down our car’s settings in the night qualifying run after seeing some of the earlier cars smoke the tires. I know we left a little on the table with the 3.861 run.”
Pritchett, runner-up in this year’s Southern Nationals, will have two additional qualifying attempts Saturday afternoon at Bristol Dragway with runs set for 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. EDT.
Tony Schumacher set a new track record Friday night with a 3.768-second pass, just nipping Larry Dixon’s 3.769. “We saw some teams really go for it Friday night with their setups,” said Pritchett. “There was a fine line between getting the power to the ground and smoking the tires. The track surface temperature was very high all day and we just weren’t sure about the traction level. We’ll get ready for another hot day Saturday and hope to improve the car.”
The 16-car Top Fuel field will be set after Saturday’s qualifying runs and final eliminations will begin at noon Sunday before a live ESPN television audience.