Leah Pritchett put the cherry on top of a dream weekend at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar, flying her Mopar Dodge 1320 “Angry Bee” Top Fuel dragster from the No. 1 spot to her first win at historic Bandimere Speedway. Her victory came in the first year with Dodge//SRT as headline sponsor and in the 30th consecutive season of FCA US event title sponsorship at the track near Denver.
The victory was Pritchett’s second of the year in three final rounds this season, the seventh overall of her career, and moved the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver to third in the point standings. The Wally trophy was also the eighth of the season for a DSR Mopar Dodge driver in the NHRA Nitro classes.
Pritchett also carried a special 1320-themed livery on her Mopar Dodge Top Fuel dragster to help mark the unveiling of the new Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320, geared for grassroots Sportsman racers, and revealed with help from Pritchett during a press conference on Thursday, July 19.
Pritchett’s Denver domination began in qualifying, where she knocked out a 3.799-second elapsed time (ET) at 327.19 mph, the fastest ever at Bandimere Speedway, to lock down the pole, her second straight of the season and second consecutive at Bandimere. Pritchett also collected 11 out of 12 possible qualifying points.
The Mopar Dodge 1320 driver opened eliminations with a steady 3.857/322.81 to outrun Terry Totten, and then unleashed the “Angry Bee” to the tune of 3.806/321.96, the quickest of the round, to send home Scott Palmer. Pritchett ran a 3.826/312.93 in the semifinals, matched by her opponent Clay Millican’s identical 3.826 ET, but Pritchett’s sharper .043 reaction time earned her the starting line advantage and the round win.
In her second consecutive final-round appearance at Denver and 11th overall of her career, Pritchett trailed briefly against Doug Kalitta but quickly put her Mopar Dodge 1320 in the lead and never looked back, laying down a HEMI-powered 3.831/316.45 pass to Kalitta’s losing 3.852/319.82 effort.