AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals
Event No. 9
October 16-18, 2020
Mopar Dodge SRT Hellcat Redeye Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 5 (3.732 E.T. at 318.77 MPH)
E1: 3.780 E.T. at 317.27 MPH defeated Scott Palmer 3.778 E.T. at 317.57 MPH
E2: 3.863 E.T. at 293.86 MPH defeated by Shawn Langdon 3.825 E.T. at 311.77 MPH
Starting from a fifth-seeded position, Leah Pruett was prepared to battle through the FallNationals Top Fuel field as she fights to keep her championship hopes alive. She kicked off her Sunday morning by using a starting line advantage to power the Dodge Hellcat Redeye dragster to a holeshot victory over Scott Palmer and secure a spot in the quarterfinals where she faced rival Shawn Langdon. Against Langdon, Pruett’s machine started dropping cylinders early into the run, and her opponent was able to take the round win. Pruett departs Texas Motorplex sitting third in the championship standings, and with two race weekends remaining in 2020, including the points-and-a-half format at the season finale in Las Vegas, Pruett is still very much in championship contention.
The resurrection of the Dodge SRT Hellcat Redeye wasn’t quite as fierce as we hoped it would be on this Sunday. We had a very competitive, stout first round against an always tough competitor in Scott Palmer. In the second round we had some fuel mixture mix-ups with the cylinders. That should have been an attainable round win and those win lights are just so important right now. We’re not out of this fight by any means and we’re thankful that Dodge is able put on the race at Las Vegas in two weeks. We know exactly where we’re at in the points going into Houston and we hope it’s our time to shine in the big Lone Star State and getting that Wally at Houston.
Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak
Qualified: No. 12 (8.001 E.T. at 170.82 MPH)
E1: 8.047 E.T. at 170.32 MPH defeated by Arthur Kohn 8.015 E.T. at 171.23 MPH
Texas Motorplex has been kind to Leah Pruett and her Factory Stock Showdown entry over the years. In 2018, Pruett’s FallNationals event triumph enabled her to capture the FSS series championship, and in 2019, she raced to her first runner-up finish of the season at the Ennis facility. Pruett was hopeful history would repeat itself on Sunday and she’d breakthrough for her first win of the season behind the wheel of her Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, but her round-one E.T. of 8.047 wasn’t enough to outrun her opponent’s 8.015-second pass, ending Pruett’s day in the first session.
We raced a tough car in (Arthur) Kohn today and at both ends of the track we didn’t have what it needed. It was a very close race and we’re pushing this Drag Pak to the max, but just getting beat right now. We can be down or know what it takes in the long term and we’re finding little wins that will add up, but Mark (Pawuk) is doing well for Mopar and Dodge and I can’t wait for the new Dodge Drag Pak in 2021 next spring.
Source: Don Schumacher Racing
Photos: Mark J. Rebilas Photography