Photo: Don Schumacher Racing

Leah Pritchett delivers fastest unofficial ET in NHRA history, 3.654 seconds

5 Comments

On Friday, Courtney Force set the unofficial fastest pass in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car history during the Nitro Spring Training test at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.

And on Saturday, Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett did one better – just dropping the unofficial fastest pass in NHRA series history.

Pritchett metaphorically lit the drag strip on fire in her Papa John’s dragster for Don Schumacher Racing, with a new fastest pass at 3.654 seconds over the 1,000-foot distance, at a speed of 331.85 mph. Even more impressive was the fact it came in the heat of the afternoon, with track temperatures north of 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

The official Top Fuel ET record in competition is a 3.671-second pass, which Steve Torrence set July 31, 2016 at Sonoma.

Pritchett instead opted to thank her crew for tuning her dragster to this scorching time.

“I have to be totally honest, we didn’t come out here to be the quickest,” Pritchett said, via the official NHRA website.

“That wasn’t the goal. The goal was to get the power that we created in the offseason to the track. We exceeded our expectations yesterday and today we did the same. For it to blast off at .65 on a warmer day today, man I’m stoked for (my team), that’s a lot of hard work and they just put it on the track.”

Pritchett endured a roller coaster 2016 season with a change of team but an eventual Countdown appearance.

More from Saturday’s runs are linked here, via the NHRA website.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.