Leah Pruett, a 10-time Top Fuel winner, is hunting for her first four-wide win. Driver of the Code 3 Associates Top Fuel Dragster for Tony Stewart Racing, Pruett is sixth in the Top Fuel standings coming into the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I think the four-wide event comes at an appropriate time in the season,” said Pruett. “The off-season rust is kicked off, and everyone is moving and grooving in working order. We shook off all the single passes of the off-season, gathered a couple dozen side-by-side hits, and now turn it up with the focus of four-wide.”
The NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the fourth NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series’ 21-race calendar event in 2023. The four-wide races can either be a massive success to those that conquer the different format or a major disappointment to those that fall victim to the unconventional staging process.
“We have to pay attention to what all of the communication signs mean because so much can change so fast,” explained Pruett. “Someone can break, so drivers have to know what bulbs we expect to be lit or not and, therefore not get timed-out. The basic principles are the same, pre-stage and get staged before seven seconds of the other person fully-staging. In this case, it still takes just one person to be fully staged after all pre-staged to start the timer, so if you are waiting for two or three people to get fully staged, then think you have seven seconds, you are in for a rude awakening. Basically you want to get staged as soon as possible because the alignment of four cars to get to the stage beams eats up five to 10 seconds on average, so you’re already burning more fuel than normal. Balancing your cadence is key for consistency.”
Pruett was runner-up to Steve Torrence in the 2018 fall event and earned one No. 1 qualifier at Las Vegas on Nov. 2, 2019, with an ET of 3.654 seconds at 330.47 mph, which set a new track record. She celebrated a Pro Mod win at the fall Las Vegas race in 2011, and in the fall of 2021, Pruett reached the final round in the Factory Stock Showdown series before losing to Aaron Stanfield.
Furthermore, Pruett is excited about representing Code 3 Associates, an organization dedicated to animal rescue and recovery.
“It’s safe to say that I am a huge animal lover, many times more than humans,” said Pruett. “To be a part of expanding their awareness to increase more animal rescue missions hits deep. My heart hurts for those in need that are helpless, and that is exactly what Code 3 Associates does. They provide the resources to offer help out of danger to safety, and that is what makes my heart full. Wallys and animal rescue are an odd combination, but they are the top of my priority list.”