As the Stampede of Speed continues and gears up for the Texas NHRA FallNationals, Leah Pruett is currently second in the Top Fuel standings and has her sights on achieving her first Top Fuel victory at the Texas Motorplex and earning the coveted No. 1 qualifying position.
Pruett’s current position in the standings is her highest since September 27, 2020, when she stood second at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida. The high stakes are reflected in her Top Fuel dragster, which will sport the colors of Mobil 1, the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand.
While this event could mark a first in Top Fuel for Pruett, she is no stranger to the winner’s circle at Dallas. In 2018, she secured victory in the Factory Stock Showdown. Additionally, she has achieved the No. 2 qualifying position twice (2016 and 2019). Fresh off a runner-up finish at the NHRA Midwest Nationals, momentum is on her side.
This year’s FallNationals introduces an exciting twist with the return of “Friday Night Live,” promising a whopping $40,000 in bonus money for standout performers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle. The low qualifier on Friday night in both Top Fuel and Funny Car will receive an attractive $15,000 each.
Pruett reflects on the upcoming event, stating, “We have proven to have a consistent race car on race days, and we are working on getting that consistency locked in earlier during qualifying to get those small points, and overall better qualifying position. It is only going to get more difficult from here. We’re looking to move up in the points, which takes rounds. We have heavy hitters breathing down our backs by just a handful of points, so the mindset is to keep pressing on in the ways we know work and have worked all season to get to this point.”
Commenting on the reintroduction of the additional qualifying run, Pruett notes, “For us, getting that additional qualifying run back is huge, as we need to make up small qualifying points, and that is what that extra run allows for. We want to come off the trailer solid and improve for Friday night. The extra $15,000 is helpful, as it covers the cost of that ‘extra’ run, but I believe the standard points that go with it, and getting a Q1 (number one qualifier) before the session that most likely sets the field is just as substantial. I love that it adds flare for the fans. The goal is to get on the bull and not get kicked off.”
With the championship title in sight and only 47 points separating her from leader Doug Kalitta, Pruett is geared up to give spectators a thrilling performance at the Texas NHRA FallNationals.