AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
Event No. 7
September 25-27, 2020
Mopar Dodge SRT Hellcat Redeye Top Fuel Dragster
No. 8 (3.922 E.T. at 315.64 MPH)
E1: 4.152 E.T. at 300.13 MPH defeated Joe Morrison 4.583 E.T. at 248.66 MPH
E2: 3.788 E.T. at 321.96 MPH defeated Clay Millican 3.788 E.T. at 315.86 MPH
E3: 3.812 E.T. at 310.20 MPH defeated by Steve Torrence 3.772 E.T. at 324.36 MPH
As one of the top contenders to have a shot at the 2020 Top Fuel world championship, Leah Pruett and her Mopar team were looking to make big points gains on Sunday as they jockey for position with Doug Kalitta and Steve Torrence in what is heating up to be a three-way battle for the Top Fuel crown.
Pruett began race day from the No. 8 position and used her driving skills to pedal to the win over Joe Morrison in E1. In round two, Pruett’s skill behind the wheel once again proved key when both she and Clay Millican clocked identical E.T.s, with Pruett’s reaction time earning her the round win. The semifinals featured a match-up with rival Steve Torrence. Both Pruett and Torrence were fast on the throttle, leaving the line nearly even. Pruett powered the Mopar Dodge SRT Hellcat Redeye to a solid 3.812-second pass, but Torrence narrowly edged past with his 3.772 E.T. for the win.
Pruett entered the weekend ranked second, and while she did fall to third, only a small margin separates her from point leader Torrence (-33) and No. 2 ranked Kalitta (-11).
It seems like we all lost about 15 pounds of water weight this weekend and I couldn’t be more proud of this group with the performance of this Dodge SRT car in very challenging conditions. We put out stout runs and we’ve made it to the semis at the majority of the races this year, and we need to keep that momentum going. We wore through the clutch and the motor dropped a few holes in the top end against Steve Torrence in the semis.
“The top three is really getting tight and we are in a Countdown (to the Championship) however you want to look at it. We’re racing for the championship every single round. Our heads are very high. We’re looking forward to St. Louis and those cool conditions, and when you’re excited about something you usually have good results, and for us, that’s a win that we’re strongly in need of.
Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak
No. 12 (8.160 E.T. at 169.25 MPH)
E1: 8.128 E.T. at 167.28 MPH defeated by Arthur Kohn 8.027 E.T. at 170.82 MPH
Leah Pruett and the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak team battled hot and humid conditions in Gainesville, Fla., running an 8.160 during Q2 to start race day from the No. 12 position. Pruett drew Arthur Kohn as her round-one opponent. Kohn took the initial lead and never trailed for the win over Pruett.
Arthur) Kohn had a phenomenal package that would have been hard to beat. We have a very awesome Mopar in the stable and we’re excited for St. Louis next weekend where we can put that power to the ground. We’re behind Mark’s (Pawuk) car and about a tenth (of-a-second) off. We’ll get that fixed and be back in the hunt. It’s going to be quite a seasonal change overnight going back to the Midwest and we’re looking forward to that with El Bandito. A full 180 with the program and I know we’re close to hitting it right.
Source: Don Schumacher Racing
Photos: Mark J. Rebilas Photography