NHRA Midwest Nationals
Event 16 of 20
Countdown Event 3 of 7
World Wide Technology Raceway
Sept. 24 - 26, 2021
Driver of the Okuma Top Fuel Dragster
Qualified: No. 4 (3.714 E.T. at 326.00 MPH)
E1: 3.701 E.T. at 326.16 MPH defeated Clay Millican 3.883 E.T. at 253.80 MPH
E2: 3.769 E.T. at 316.01 MPH defeated Billy Torrence 6.575 E.T. at 122.59 MPH
E3: 20.077 E.T. (speed not recorded) defeated by Mike Salinas 3.713 E.T. at 328.06 MPH
Double-duty driver Leah Pruett started race day from the No. 4 position after recording the third-quickest pass of Q3 aboard the Okuma Top Fuel dragster. Against her round-one competitor, Pruett moved first and powered her machine to the win in 3.701 seconds to defeat Clay Millican’s 3.883-second effort. In round two, Pruett once again had the starting line advantage and drove straight down the groove, never trailing, as Billy Torrence lost traction early and was forced to give up on the run. The semifinals pitted Pruett against No. 1 qualifier Mike Salinas. Pruett stood on the throttle and immediately went up into tire smoke. She gave it a quick pedal but her machine quickly let go with a fireball, ending Pruett’s chances at a first Midwest Nationals Top Fuel triumph.
Pruett occupies the No. 6 spot in the Top Fuel standings heading into the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals.
Reaching the semifinals is always a plus, and some of those ahead of us went out early so that helps bunch up the points a bit. We had some big match-ups today. The first round against Clay (Millican), you never know what they’re going to throw out there, that’s a fast car. Our Okuma machine laid down a solid 3.70 pass. That second round was big and that was a fun race against Billy (Torrence) and he’s right ahead of us in the points and that’s an opportunity to be the giant killer and pass them. Getting that win from burnout to turnout was great. We had to swap blowers before the semis and that changed the tune-up a little bit. I wish I could put my thumb on what happened and why it smoked the tires at the hit, but we don’t have any data from that run. It shows the clutch was charged during staging and then nothing. Disappointed, slightly. Heartbroken, absolutely not. Something about this weekend and this team just resonates, and it’s really hard to beat a team who never gives up. That’s exactly who we are. We’ll keep going with this momentum in Dallas.
Source: Don Schumacher Racing