Pritchett gets third No. 1 qualifier in Phoenix

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Leah Pritchett is the Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier for the 33rd annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz. This is her second straight No. 1 qualifier for the first two races of the season.

None of the Top Fuel pilots could surpass Pritchett’s 3.658 at 329.34 pass on Friday in her Papa John’s Pizza dragster. This is her third career No. 1 qualifier. The other came at the Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa. in Oct. 2016.

Leah Pritchett does a burnout (Photo by the NHRA)

Leah Pritchett does a burnout (Photo by the NHRA)

“We are still figuring this race car out,” she said. “It seems like we have it under control from the numbers that we lay down. But we’re starting to get outside that box a little bit to see how big our window is.

“My main focus as a driver has been to be 100% dead straight, dead square because if this car washes out, I’m not going to be able to steer it or get it down the track.”

Pritchett won the first race of the season two weeks ago at the 57th annual NHRA Circle K Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. She won her first career Wally at this facility one year ago.

During the Nitro Spring Training at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park Super Bowl weekend, Pritchett set an unofficial NHRA record for speed.

Antron Brown, the Matco Tools and U.S. Army Top Fuel pilot and three-time champion, qualified second. He had a 3.667 at 328.78 mph pass. His teammate, Tony Schumacher, an eight-time champion, qualified third in his U.S. Army dragster at 3.667 at 328.30 mph.

Capco Contractors Top Fuel pilot Steve Torrence qualified fourth after going 3.684 at 327.59 mph. Doug Kalitta, the Mac Tools Top Fuel pilot, qualified fifth following his 3.695 at 328.78 mph pass.

Top Fuel match-ups
1. Leah Pritchett vs. 16. BYE
2. Antron Brown vs. 15. Steven Chrisman
3. Tony Schumacher vs. 14. Terry Haddock
4. Steve Torrence vs. 13. Steve Faria
5. Doug Kalitta vs. 12. Shawn Reed
6. Troy Coughlin Jr. (Rookie) vs. 11. Scott Palmer
7. Brittany Force vs. 10. Terry McMillen
8. Clay Millican vs. 9. Troy Buff

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