California native goes against Morgan Lucas in 1st Round Monday in the 61st ‘BIG GO”
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 6, 2015) – Even the oppressive heat and humidity Sunday at
Lucas Oil Raceway didn’t discourage Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett as the 27-year-old
California native qualified for her first U.S. Nationals in the Top Fuel dragster division.
Driving the red chrome “Lady in Red” Gumout machine, Pritchett finished 11th in the 22-driver Top Fuel field after making two attempts on the hot and greasy track surface that saw temperatures reach nearly 130 degrees.
The Avon, Ind., resident posted times of 4.08 and 4.73 seconds in the heat of the day where the top 12 qualifiers remained the same after Saturday night’s impressive runs. Pritchett clocked a 3.84 on Saturday. Final eliminations will be held Monday, Sept. 7.
“We had a great starting line leave in the first session today,” said Pritchett, who’ll face Morgan Lucas in the first round in Monday’s final eliminations. “We have made adjustments over the past few days with the hotter and more humid conditions. That leave was just what we were looking for. We then hazed the tires right past the 330-foot mark. It was very close to being a solid, strong pass. It was just a bit too much horsepower for the track at that time of the day.
“But our Gumout/Dote Racing team was able to study the computer readings and prepare forthe second hit on Sunday and the conditions for Monday’s eliminations. We feel good that the car will be on the pace we want for Monday’s eliminations. We were right outside that zone to have a ready strong pass. It’s a very tight line to hook up the tires and smoke the tires.”
The heat and humidity has played a major factor throughout the weekend with many of the Top Fuel stars having difficulty in qualifications including former NHRA Mello Yello champion Antron Brown in 12th, defending U.S. Nationals champion Richie Crampton in 14th and 37-time NHRA race winner Doug Kalitta in 16th.
“It’s an honor to just qualify for the U.S. Nationals,” said Pritchett. “But this team really wants to perform well on Monday. Our small one-car team is going against some of the top drag racing teams at the U.S. Nationals. But we have the capability to upset some of those top names too. I know that Doug (Kuch, crew chief) and Rob (Flynn, tuner) are working on a good setup for Monday’s runs. It would be incredible to win this race.”
Final eliminations are set for 11 a.m. EDT Monday with the ESPN telecast scheduled for 4 p.m.
Contact: Tom Blattler, 317-525-5692