Mopar, Pennzoil, back Pritchett-DSR partnership
Leah Pritchett’s Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel dragster will be backed by Mopar and Pennzoil, after the companies agreed to a four-race 2016 plan with DSR.
Pritchett will race the Mopar/Pennzoil Top Fuel dragster at Denver this weekend, then the rounds at Sonoma, Reading and Las Vegas.
This move brings the Mopar name back to the class where it first established its reputation in drag racing. (Hall of Fame racer Don “Big Daddy” Garlits secured the majority of his Top Fuel titles and event wins using Mopar Hemi™ power.) It also expands Mopar’s reach into three of the four professional NHRA categories, the other two being Funny Car and Pro Stock.
Meanwhile Pennzoil is already in NHRA as a major associate sponsor on Matt Hagan’s Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.
2016 has been a wild ride for Leah Pritchett, the NHRA Top Fuel Mello Yello competitor who won her first professional Top Fuel race in Phoenix in February driving for Bob Vandergriff Racing.
Shortly afterwards, the bottom dropped out of Pritchett’s plans, as team owner Vandergriff’s sponsor Josh Comstock died suddenly, and the BVR team was parked.
Pritchett’s services were initially picked up for four races by Don Schumacher Racing, which allowed her to race with the Lagana family during events where she wasn’t on the DSR roster. She also brought her tuners, Mike Guger and Joe Barlam aboard. Along the way Pritchett picked up added dates with DSR, including the most recent race at Joliet, Ill.. where she reached the semi-final.
Pritchett, 28, lies 10th in season standings and said: “Shooting for the moon is what we do. Now to have two great corporations like Mopar and Pennzoil get behind us is all I can ask, along with driving for Don Schumacher Racing.
“This has been my goal for several years and it means absolutely everything to me. I’m very proud to represent the Mopar brand in its return to Top Fuel.”
Denver starts demanding three weeks for NHRA racers
C. Force, Torrence, Enders and Hines lead Friday qualifying at Mile-High Nationals at Denver