Driver of the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 8 (3.817 E.T. at 314.90 MPH)
E1: 3.800 E.T. at 321.58 MPH defeated Doug Foley 4.642 E.T. at 162.76 MPH
E2: 3.772 E.T. at 326.95 MPH defeated by Steve Torrence 3.781 E.T. at 325.45 MPH
For the sixth time in the first seven races of the 2021 season, Leah Pruett earned a qualifying position in the top half of the field. Starting from the No. 8 seed, Pruett faced Doug Foley in the opening round of eliminations. Pruett left the starting line first and never trailed for the win, clocking a 3.800 E.T. in her Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fueler to improve upon her best qualifying run and secure lane choice against Steve Torrence in the second round. Pruett and Torrence pulled up for round two, ready to battle, but shortly after completing their burnouts, the skies opened up, and it started to rain. The two teams were forced to shut off, and opted to return to their race pits to quickly change clutch packs and regroup. Once racing resumed, Pruett powered her machine to a solid 3.772-second pass but narrowly missed a bid to the semifinals when Torrence’s holeshot advantage enabled him to claim the round win.
“I’d like to dedicate this Sunday at the NHRA Norwalk Nationals to my Dodge team. They did a phenomenal job of recouping after not having data from our Q3 run. We went out E1 and were solid, running a .80 flat. And then, sometimes the drag racing Gods give you that extra shot in the arm of adrenaline, and that’s from lining up against point leader Steve Torrence, doing a burnout, backing up, and then being told to shut down. Then an array of decisions needed to be made as to whether we should go back and fuel up, and change the clutch or not. These are not things that commonly happen, maybe every few years, and this team did a phenomenal job of servicing the car as much as we could. We went back up there and laid down a 3.77. For us, attitude is optimally maintained. We had a high attitude given our series of bad events, and because of that, we were able to come out of it. Now, did we come out of it on the good side of a good drag race? No, we didn’t, but we’re making ground, and we’re progressing, and as we continue to climb this mountain, and as we head to the Dodge//SRT Mile-High Nationals in Denver, we will continue on this upward rise. Heads are not low, they’re high, and I’m just very proud of my team.”