Leah Pritchett will start from the No. 3 spot in elimination rounds on Sunday, September 16, at the Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pennsylvania, with the goal of making it two-for-two in the win column for her Mopar Dodge 1320 Top Fuel dragster.
Pritchett last carried the special Mopar Dodge 1320 graphics on her dragster when she debuted her “Angry Bee” at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver in late July. The Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver collected the No. 1 qualifier spot and the race win at that event in the “Angry Bee” 1320 graphics, which celebrate the new street-to-strip Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 drag car, geared for Sportsman racers.
After joining her fellow Mopar Dodge//SRT drivers in helping to kick-start the Dodge NHRA Nationals at the Mopar Mega Block Party on Thursday, September 13, Pritchett made the second quickest run in the evening qualifying session on Friday, earning two bonus points. She’ll begin eliminations No. 3 on Sunday in the first race of the six-event NHRA Countdown to the Championship with a first-round battle against Audrey Worm.
Mopar-powered U.S. Army Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher, a five-time event winner at the Dodge NHRA Nationals, rocketed up to the No. 2 spot in his final qualifying attempt. “The Sarge” earned two bonus points and will meet Dan Mercier to open up Sunday.
Tommy Johnson Jr. paced the four-driver Mopar Dodge DSR Funny Car team in qualifying, locking down the No. 3 spot in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T. Johnson earned one bonus point in Q2, and then wrapped up qualifying with the quickest run of the session to reclaim the third spot and an additional three bonus markers. Johnson will face Jim Campbell in the first round on Sunday.
“Fast” Jack Beckman opened qualifying on Friday with the quickest pass of the round and ended it on Saturday with the second quickest of the session, earning a total of five bonus points. The DSR driver posted his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT in the No. 4 spot and will square off with Cruz Pedregon to open Sunday. Ron Capps, the defending 2017 Dodge NHRA Nationals Funny Car winner, qualified No. 5 in his NAPA Dodge Charger R/T with consistent runs in the three-second range and drew Jonnie Lindberg in round one.
Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT pilot Matt Hagan, coming off a runner-up appearance at the NHRA U.S Nationals, will start No. 10 and lineup against John Force.
The DSR duo of Pritchett and Hagan also entertained fans in a pair of “grudge match” races in Dodge Challenger SRT Demon vehicles in between qualifying rounds on Friday and Saturday at Maple Grove Raceway. Pritchett swept both races, completing the season series with a 3-1 edge over her teammate. The pair also dueled to a 1-1 tie in the most powerful muscle car ever at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals event.