Top Fuel standout Leah Pritchett led the Dodge//SRT Mopar driver contingent in the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals near Dallas. She qualified the HEMI®-powered Pennzoil Dodge Top Fuel Dragster of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) No. 2 for the third time in the first four NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship events.
Ron Capps led seven Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car drivers into Sunday’s Funny Car field, capturing the fourth position in qualifying and will face fellow Dodge//SRT and DSR teammate Jack Beckman in the first round. Matt Hagan drove the Western Technical College Mopar CAP Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car to the sixth spot.
Pritchett grabbed her sixth No. 2 qualifying slot of 2019 with Friday evening’s run of 3.681 seconds at 332.10 mph. That was one of four full passes Pritchett made in preparation for her final push to make a claim for the 2019 Top Fuel world championship. History shows she will need to reach Sunday’s final, and likely win, to have a realistic shot with two events remaining. Pritchett has a round win-loss record of 4-3 during the first three 2019 Countdown events and has lost in the second round of the previous three Dallas events.
With Friday night offering the best conditions for qualifying, Saturday proved to be a testing session for Sunday’s eliminations. The Capps-Beckman matchup is one of two first-round races Sunday pitting Countdown contenders. There are also two races with Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars squaring off. Paul Lee qualified eighth and will take on DSR’s Tommy Johnson, Jr. in the Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car.
Pritchett is pulling double duty this weekend and also earned the No. 2 position in Factory Stock Showdown (FSS). The defending event winner posted an impressive pass of 8.017 seconds at 170.11 mph behind the wheel of the DSR Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. Pritchett’s DSR teammate Mark Pawuk qualified the Empaco Equipment Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak ninth.