Leah Pritchett starts 3rd in Atlanta
NHRA Top Fuel racer Leah Pritchett recorded her best career Top Fuel qualifying performance Saturday during the Summit Racing NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Leah took the Gumout dragster to the third qualifying spot in the 16-driver field for Sunday’s elimination drag races.
The 26-year-old veteran driver from Avon, Ind., drove her nitro-burning Top Fuel car to a 3.792 second elapsed time at the Commerce, Georgia drag racing facility during Friday’s round, a time that would hold the No. 3 position secure through two rounds on Saturday.
Pritchett’s third starting spot in Sunday’s final eliminations places her behind former NHRA Mello Yello Series champions Antron Brown and Tony Schumacher in the 16-driver Top Fuel division. Brown notched the No. 1 spot at 3.758 seconds followed by Schumacher’s 3.767 and Pritchett’s 3.792.
In addition, Pritchett’s third qualifying position was best of the female drivers in the nitro classes at Atlanta Dragway which included Brittany Force (10th) in Top Fuel and Alexis DeJoria (8th) and Courtney Force (10th) in Funny Car
Again the track conditions are tricky here at Atlanta Dragway,” said Pritchett, who’ll take on drag racing legend Chris Karamesines in the first round of eliminations Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. EDT. “it was difficult to get all of the horsepower to the pavement Saturday but we still ran a 3.88. And that was one of the best passes of Saturday. Now, we’ll concentrate on winning rounds in eliminations. Looks like almost anyone could get to the final round on Sunday. I want to be in that position on Sunday afternoon with a chance to win the race.”
Pritchett posted three consistent qualifying runs at Atlanta Dragway – 3.792, 3.809 and 3.887, some of the most consistent numbers in the class. Pritchett is looking for her first Top Fuel victory in her third season in the Top Fuel class, having captured three NHRA national events previously in the ProMod
ESPN2 will televise the final eliminations of the 35th NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at 9 p.m. EDT Sunday.