Popular Driver Still Manages 12th Position in First Day of Qualifying
NORWALK, Ohio (July 3, 2015) – Young female racer Leah Pritchett and the Gumout ‘Solid Gold” Top Fuel dragster didn’t find the traction Friday night at Summit Motorsports Park in the opening day of qualifications for Sunday’s NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals.
The “Solid Gold” machine, a fan favorite since its introduction two weeks ago at Bristol, spun the tires in both qualifying sessions with Pritchett clocking a 4.431 seconds in the first round and a 4.002 seconds in the later action under the lights at the northern Ohio racing facility.
Pritchett finished the night in the 12th position in qualifying among the 19-driver field. Sixteen drivers will start the Top Fuel eliminations Sunday at 11 a.m. EDT
In the first run, Pritchett’s dragster hazed the rear tires at the 300-foot mark and the California native elected to shut down the 10,000-horsepower engine and save it for the second qualifying attempt.
On the second pass, Leah looked to be on a strong run in the Gumout Expert Series car when the machine again spun the tires further down the 1,000-foot track.
“I thought I was on a good one in the second pass of the night,” said Pritchett, runner-up finisher at this year’s Southern Nationals in Georgia. “The car left hard and felt good. But there is a fine line with the clutch and the tires lost traction late on the hit. We’ll look to adjust the car for Saturday’s qualifying.”
Spencer Massey set a new track record Friday at Summit Motorsports Park with a time of 3.741 seconds.
Qualifying in Top Fuel on Saturday (July 4) are set for 5:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. EDT. ESPN will televise the final eliminations at noon Sunday.