Leah Pruett plans to secure her Top Fuel license on Monday.
Originally scheduled to attempt the crossover licensing from her Nitro Funny Car driving credentials the day after the O’Reilly NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway outside of Charlotte, her hopes were washed away with the large raindrops which fell from the Carolina sky.
Monday will present another opportunity as Pruett will once again attempt to make runs behind the wheel of the Dote Racing Top Fuel dragster.
“We planned to make our runs, and a few other drivers that day made a run early at zMax. Instead of running up there to make a run, we took some time preparing the car … taking Larry [Dixon’s] seat out and putting mine in the car. We wanted to make sure I felt comfortable in the car. We warmed the car and shortly thereafter rolled to the staging lanes. As soon as I got in the car, (the rain) started.”
The rains began to fall and after a while, it became evident to Pruett and the Dote team the test wasn’t going to happen.
“We waited the rain out for hours and knowing the NHRA Safety Safari wasn’t going to be there to dry the track as quickly as they do at national events, we just decided it would be better to wait for another weekend,” Pruett explained. “We wanted to make more than just one run.
“It was disappointing because this was to be the first time I had been in a fuel car in a year. The warm-up went great and I wasn’t even nervous. I was more excited to get it done. I had been going through the routine in my mind for weeks. Then to be so close and not get to make the run.”
Equally frustrating for Pruett, was how what was intended to be a low-profile test session turned into the internet message board and media story of the week.
“Thanks to CompetitionPlus.com, we were able to set the record straight,” said Pruett, who was accused of buying the ride away from Hillary Will. “There was always a lot going on with what I figure to be R2B2’s last year in Pro Modified. As one door shuts, another opens. There was a lot going on and I’ve always learned if they’re not talking about you, you’re not doing anything.”
Pruett, who currently races the R2B2 Pro Modified Mustang, has big hopes for a career in the nitro ranks. She has been very close on multiple occasions to securing a ride with Don Schumacher Racing.
“There are so many deals going on out here, and we had planned to let the news release after we had finished the test session,” admitted Pruett. “You just always want to keep all of your options open. Hopefully our next big story will come on Tuesday when we get my license.”
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