SEATTLE (Aug. 5, 2016) – Top Fuel racer Leah Pritchett received an extra-large boost today when Papa John’s International Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) announced it will sponsor her Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel dragster team at this weekend’s NHRA national event at Pacific Raceway near Seattle and two weeks later at Brainerd, Minn.
Pritchett, 28, will start the Protect the Harvest NHRA Nationals in Kent, Wash ranked 10th in championship points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. She won this year’s second event title near Phoenix.
“This means so much to me, our team and the sport of NHRA drag racing,” said the graduate of Cal State San Bernardino. “We are huge fans of Papa John’s Pizza and are confident it will help fuel us to victory,” added Pritchett. “My dream is one day to walk into a location and order a ‘Leah’s Nitro Pizza’ on the Papa John’s menu. One requirement - it has to be spicy!”
Pritchett’s Papa John’s branded, Top Fuel dragster will be unveiled at 1 p.m. (PT) Friday near her pit area at Pacific Raceway.
Papa John’s founder, chairman and chief executive officer, John Schnatter, visited DSR headquarters a few weeks ago and got his first experience with nitro when DSR fired up Pritchett’s dragster.
“I am excited to add another quality ingredient to our Papa John’s team with our sponsorship of Don Schumacher Racing and Leah Pritchett,” said “Papa John” Schnatter. “Leah’s passion for racing is like my passion for pizzamaking; always looking for ways to improve and get better.”
Schnatter founded Papa John’s in 1984 when he knocked down a wall to a broom closet in his father’s tavern in Jeffersonville, Ind.. He then sold his prized 1972 Z28 Camaro to purchase $1,600 worth of used pizza equipment and began selling pizzas to the tavern's customers out of the converted closet to help save the business. Today, Papa John’s is the world’s third largest pizza delivery company with over 4,900 locations in 50 states and 40 countries and territories.
Pritchett’s dragster will be a salute to his iconic, gold muscle car that he reacquired and owns today.
Don Schumacher was a successful pioneer Funny Car driver/owner in the early 1970s before he took over his family’s Schumacher Electric Corp. in 1974 and guided it to become the world’s largest and most innovative manufacturer of battery chargers (BatteryChargers.com). Since reopening DSR based near Indianapolis in 1998, the Chicago native created what has become an eight-car drag racing organization that has produced 281 NHRA event titles and 14 world championships.
“Our partnership with John is very, very exciting for DSR and the entire sport of drag racing,” Schumacher said. “We’re thrilled for Leah. Papa John’s support for the next two races gets her closer to clinching a spot in the Countdown (to the Championship six-race playoff) which would have all eight of our teams running for NHRA championships.”
Schnatter is well known for his television commercials featuring NFL stars and his company’s slogan: BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER PIZZA. Papa John's. In addition to those TV spots, Papa John’s is the Official Pizza Sponsor of the National Football League and Official Pizza of Major League Baseball. He was honored early this year with the University of South Florida Sport & Entertainment Management program's "Sport Marketer of the Year" award.
ABOUT PAPA JOHN’S
Headquartered in Louisville, Ky., Papa John's International Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world's third-largest pizza delivery company. For 15 of the past 17 years, consumers have rated Papa John's No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John's is the Official Pizza Sponsor of the National Football League and Official Pizza of Major League Baseball.
For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John's at www.papajohns.com. Also visit us on Facebook at Facebook.com/PapaJohns, Twitter at twitter.com/PapaJohns, YouTube at YouTube.com/user/papajohns, Instagram at instagram.com/papajohns, Pinterest at pinterest.com/papajohnspizza, and Vine at vine.co/papajohns. Looking to be a part of something Better? Learn more about franchising with Papa John's at papajohns.com/franchise.
ABOUT DON SCHUMACHER RACING
Don Schumacher Racing, headquartered near Indianapolis in Brownsburg, Ind., fields eight professional NHRA teams in the Drag Racing Series.
In Top Fuel, Leah Pritchett in the Papa John’s Pizza dragster, the U.S. Army dragster driven by eight-time NHRA world champion Tony Schumacher, the 2012 and 2015 Top Fuel world champion Matco Tools/U.S. Army dragster driven by Antron Brown and the Red Fuel/Sandvik Coromant dragster driven by 2013 world champion Shawn Langdon.
In Funny Car, two-time world champion Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots 2016 Dodge Charger R/T, 2012 NHRA world champion Jack Beckman in the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge, the NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge of Ron Capps and the Make-A-Wish Dodge driven by Tommy Johnson Jr.
DSR has won 281 NHRA national event titles and 14 world championships.
Follow Don Schumacher Racing at ShoeRacing.com, on Twitter at @shoeracing and Facebook.com/shoeracing