Leah Pritchett enters this weekend’s 50th annual NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, as the reigning SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown (FSS) world champion. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing veteran is pulling double duty this weekend, racing in both the FSS class as well as in the Top Fuel category with her Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster.
Pritchett raced her 354-cubic-inch HEMI-powered Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to last year’s overall FSS championship with three consecutive season-ending wins to put an exclamation point on her campaign. The turning point in her title run came during the prestigious U.S. Nationals in Indy where she defeated her DSR teammate Mark Pawuk in the final. It was all win lights from there in the class for the Southern California driver.
She’ll defend her title driving a Drag Pak carrying unique Mopar and Dodge//SRT “Angry Bee”-themed livery, designed by the automotive geniuses over at Hoonigan and chosen by a fan vote on the brand’s website. Pritchett carries a 12-round winning streak into action against an extremely deep field that will not just include Pawuk in a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, but also 2012 NHRA Pro Stock World Champion and two-time Gatornationals champion Allen Johnson campaigning in a Drag Pak with additional vehicle preparation and support provided by DSR and Mopar.
“Competing at the Gatornationals alone is always prestigious, no less gunning for two Wallys at the 50th anniversary,” said Pritchett. “I remember attending the 50th anniversary of the Pomona Finals and Winternationals as a fan, and to now be a strong contender at the Gators in its golden hour is something that excites my soul. We have a great race car and team that I know is excited about putting on an incredible show for a sell-out crowd, as well as bringing home two truly golden wins to DSR. History will be made there, and we intend on giving it everything we’ve got to be the fastest part of it.”