NHRA: Leah Pritchett to do double duty in seven events this season

Photo courtesy Mopar/Dodge
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It’s going to be a very busy year for NHRA Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett.

Not only will she be going for the Top Fuel championship, Pritchett announced today that she’ll pilot a supercharged 2018 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak during NHRA Factory Stock Showdown events.

Pritchett’s crew chief on the 354-cubic-inch HEMI-powered Challenger will be Don Schumacher Racing employee Kevin Helms, and the car will be maintained by the DSR team.

Helms is a three-time champion in Stock Eliminator and was runner-up in the 2017 NHRA Stock and Super Stock classes.

Pritchett will take part in the full seven-race, season-long NHRA Factory Stock Showdown series, which runs in conjunction with NHRA national events.

Pritchett prepared for this year’s Factory Stock Showdown by competing in two events last season, which prompted her to run the full season in 2018.

This will also be Pritchett’s second full-time season in Top Fuel. She won the first two races last season and three of the first five and looks to repeat as the 2018 season kicks off this weekend with the NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

“You should see the smile on my face, whether I’m talking about it or my team is talking about it,” Pritchett said. “It’s a dream come true. The double-duty aspect, I had a taste of it last year and honestly, I think it makes me a better racer overall.

“When we roll out in 2018, the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak will be put on the track by Don Schumacher Racing, which makes me feel fulfilled in every way. We have proven to have a very competitive racecar, and the goal is to be the quickest and fastest in both silos (Factory Stock and Top Fuel).”

One unique aspect of Monday’s announcement is that fans will pick the graphics (images above) on her race car. Go to www.hoonigan.com/LP to vote. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET this Thursday.

The first event of the Factory Stock Showdown will be at the NHRA Gatornationals, March 15-18, in Gainesville, Florida.

Formula E announces Portland, Oregon as US race in 2023

Formula E Portland 2023
Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

The American date for the 2023 Formula E schedule will move from Brooklyn, New York to Portland, Oregon on June 24, 2023, filling the calendar at 16 rounds. This will be the first time in the nine-year history of the series that they have raced on the West Coast in only the third different city in the United States. Miami hosted one Formula E race in 2015. The series has visited the United States every season except 2020 due to the COVID-1+9 pandemic.

The 2023 race will be Round 12.

“We are excited to bring the premier electric motorsport world championship to Portland for the first time in June next year,” said Alberto Longo, Co-Founder & Chief Championship Officer, Formula E in a press release. “There is a big, passionate fanbase for professional sports in the city, together with strong ecological credentials which makes Portland a perfect host for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

“The USA remains an important market for Formula E. We are delighted to maintain that critical presence and engage a new audience in the Pacific Northwest region in all-electric motorsport.”

MORE: McLaren Racing’s Ian James organization’s entry into Formula E

Last year’s American round in Brooklyn was made up of two races with Nick Cassidy from Envision Racing winning Race 1 and António da Costa from DS Techeetah taking the second race.

Portland will host only one Formula E race in 2023.

The 2023 season will be highlighted by the new Gen 3 car, which features a battery capable of generating 350 kilowatts with regeneration capability from both the front and rear axles. This contributes to a top speed of 200 miles per hour (m.p.h.), an increase of about 25 m.p.h. from last year.

The 2023 season also marks the entry of two new iconic teams, Maserati and McLaren, who completed their roster of drivers in late November with the addition of Jake Hughes.

Season 9 Calendar

Round 1:  January 3, Mexico City, Mexico
Rounds 2 & 3: January 27-28, Diriyah, Saudi Arabia
Round 4: February 11, Hyderabad, India*
Round 5: February 6, Cape Town, South Africa*
Round 6: March 8, São Paulo, Brazil*
Rounds 7 & 8: April 22-23, Berlin, Germany
Round 9: May 6, Monaco
Rounds 10 & 11: June 3-4, Jakarta, Indonesia
Round 12: June 24, Portland, Oregon*
Rounds 13 & 14: July 15-16, Rome, Italy
Rounds 15 & 16: July 29-30, London

*subject to final FIA Safety and Technical checks,