“The Lady in Red” Dragster to Charlotte Seeking Top Fuel Win
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 18, 2015) – Leah Pritchett is seeking a couple of firsts this weekend at zMAX Dragway for the NHRA Carolina Nationals drag races.
The 27-year-old California native hopes to take the Gumout “Lady in Red” Top Fuel dragster to first in qualifying as well as her first Top Fuel win. Pritchett’s opening run on Friday afternoon put her right where she wanted after taking the No. 1 qualifying position in the first round of action at the state-of-the-art racing facility.
Pritchett recorded a top time of 3.814 second with a top speed of 314.61 miles per hour to pace the highly-competitive Top Fuel ranks.
In the second round, Pritchett improved her time and speed to a 3.803 and 319.45 m.p.h. for fourth overall in the Top Fuel first day qualifications. Clay Millican was first at 3.75 Friday.
“We had two solid runs Friday at Charlotte,” said Pritchett following her consistent qualifying attempts. “The first run of the day was impressive because we were No. 1 against some very good competition. In the heat of the day, I think the 3.81 was excellent and I have to give the whole Dote Racing team a lot of credit for their effort. Doug (Kuch) and Rob (Flynn) had a really good setup in these conditions.”
Pritchett expected a better time in the evening run but was pleased with the 3.803 clocking.
“You know, I was a little surprised by the 3.80 in the second round,” Leah explained. “A lot of cars were going up in smoke or hazing the tires. I was thinking we’ll post a 3.77 or 3.78 in the evening. But when others smoked the tires, we needed to back the setup down a bit. Overall, it was a great day for the Dote team and the ‘Lady in Red’ Gumout dragster. We’ll have warmer conditions Saturday too as we’ll qualify in the middle of the day.”
Pritchett also had some special guests during the Friday qualifying session when Carolina Panthers’ cornerback Bene’ Benwikere (from Leah’s local So-Cal area in Fontana) and strong safety Roman Harper as Leah showed the NFL players the details of her 10,000-horsepower, nitro-burning dragster.
Qualifying is set for 1:30 and 3:45 p.m. EDT Saturday for the NHRA Carolina Nationals with the final eliminations scheduled for noon Sunday at zMAX Dragway.
Tom Blattler, Sport Dimensions, Inc., 317-525-5692
Kinnon Marshall, Sport Dimensions, Inc., 805-701-1216