CONCORD, N.C. — official release — NHRA photo — The NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas were not on Leah Pritchett and Dote Racing’s 2014 schedule, but with a round-one win at the NHRA Carolina Nationals and the postponement of the race, the Gumout-sponsored Top Fuel Dragster is headed to Texas.
Pritchett and the Dote Racing team ran four solid runs in qualifying and earned the number 10 position with a 3.857-second elapsed time at 307.65 mph. That set her up for a first round match up against Brittany Force. It’s the first time the two female drivers have faced each other in competition. Pritchett got the advantage off the starting line and beat Force on a hole-shot for the round one victory.
“The car is running great consistent numbers and my crew is doing an incredible job. At the end of the day, we are still in competition and do not want to give any rounds away when we feel we have an improved handle on the car, and believe the forward momentum could lead us to our first victory,” said Pritchett. “Being an independent team, this will definitely put a financial strain on us, but we don’t want to give up. We want to keep going for our team, sponsors and fans.”
The newest addition to the Monroe, Ohio-based team is veteran tuner Rob Flynn. He’s joined forces with Doug Kuch, crew chief of the Gumout Top Fuel Dragster. “He is undoubtedly a huge asset to our team,” said Pritchett. “Rob and Doug really complement each other in regards to their tuning efforts. In this day and age it really takes two crew chiefs to be competitive and successful.”
Still on the schedule in 2014 for Pritchett and Dote Racing: Maple Grove and Las Vegas. Maple Grove is the home race for Dote Racing, and in Las Vegas the Gumout team is participating in several events surrounding the SEMA Show.
Leah will face Steve Torrence in round number two of the relocated Carolina Nationals, the team her husband Gary Pritchett works for.