Leah Pritchett took her first victory of the season when she conquered Top Fuel at the NHRA Southern Nationals, as Courtney Force, Vincent Nobile and Eddie Krawiec triumphed in Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle respectively.
Pritchett piloted her FireAde dragster to a pass of 3.874-seconds at 322.42 mph to defeat Blake Alexander and earn her first Wally since Brainerd 2017. Remarkably, Pritchett’s sixth career win was the first Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel victory of the season.
Said Prichett: “The conditions out there were varying all weekend long and that’s why my hat’s off to Todd Okuhara [crew chief] for finding what was right and wrong and adjusting to it. Yeah, you want to win every race, but this one was very special in a lot of ways.”
Alexander, who raced to his first career final round and then fouled, had nonetheless truly earned his place in the final. To reach his meeting with Pritchett, he had to defeat three-time champion Antron Brown, defending champion Brittany Force, and current points leader Steve Torrence to reach the final round.
C. Force claimed her second Funny Car victory this season with a pass of 4.046 at 313.73 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro against Matt Hagan. It was the John Force Racing driver secured her 10th career victory making her the most victorious female Funny Car driver in the history of NHRA.
“We had a great race car all day long,” Force said. “Every single guy on my crew has done just a phenomenal job all day long. From getting the No. 1 qualifying spot yesterday in our final qualifying run and to go out there and have some consistent runs.
“It’s great to be able to get a win at the track my sister [Ashley Force-Hood] got her first win at. It’s a pretty good day and we’re excited.”
Vincent Nobile powered his Mountain View Tire Chevrolet Camaro to a victory run of 6.599 at 209.72 to defeat Tanner Gray in his Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro in the final round. This is his Nobile’s first career victory at Atlanta and second Wally of the season.
“I had the car to beat this weekend,” Nobile stated. “I know we didn’t qualify No. 1 but going back after each run and looking at the computer we knew we could’ve been the fastest car each session. On race day we got it together and was the fastest car every session. All in all, it was a great day.”
Nobile is now the points leaders for Pro Stock after defeating Alan Prusiensky, Chris McGaha and No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson prior to the final round.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Defending champion Eddie Krawiec rode to winner’s circle with a pass of 6.922 at 194.91 on his Screamin’ Eagles Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. This is his fourth event victory at the NHRA Southern Nationals and 45th of his career.
“This track has been very challenging for us this weekend,” Krawiec said. “I really had a better bike than what I showed Friday and Saturday because I was not making the proper chassis adjustments to get the bike down the track.
“We’re going to learn and continue to get better. That’s what we need to do.”
Krawiec beat Angie Smith, LE Tonglet, and No. 1 qualifier Hector Arana Jr., to meet and beat Scotty Pollacheck in the final round.
Final finish order at the 38th annual NHRA Southern Nationals powered by Mello Yello at Atlanta Dragway
TOP FUEL: 1. Leah Pritchett; 2. Blake Alexander; 3. Mike Salinas; 4. Steve Torrence; 5. Doug Kalitta; 6. Clay Millican; 7. Brittany Force; 8. Bill Litton; 9. Scott Palmer; 10. Tony Schumacher; 11. Terry Haddock; 12. Richie Crampton; 13. Audrey Worm; 14. Antron Brown; 15. Pat Dakin; 16. Terry McMillen.
Final: Leah Pritchett, 3.874 seconds, 322.42 mph def. Blake Alexander, Foul - Red Light.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Courtney Force; 2. Matt Hagan; 3. Jack Beckman; 4. Cruz Pedregon; 5. Bob Tasca III; 6. Tim Wilkerson; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 8. Ron Capps; 9. Jonnie Lindberg; 10. John Force; 11. Robert Hight; 12. Shawn Langdon; 13. Jeff Diehl; 14. Jim Campbell; 15. J.R. Todd; 16. John Smith.
Final: Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 4.046, 313.73 def. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.148, 291.13.
PRO STOCK: 1. Vincent Nobile; 2. Tanner Gray; 3. Drew Skillman; 4. Greg Anderson; 5. Jeg Coughlin; 6. Bo Butner; 7. Chris McGaha; 8. Deric Kramer; 9. Erica Enders; 10. Alex Laughlin; 11. Kenny Delco; 12. John Gaydosh Jr; 13. Wally Stroupe; 14. Alan Prusiensky; 15. Jason Line; 16. Val Smeland.
Final: Vincent Nobile, Chevy Camaro, 6.599, 209.72 def. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.614, 209.52.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Eddie Krawiec; 2. Scotty Pollacheck; 3. Hector Arana Jr; 4. Angelle Sampey; 5. LE Tonglet; 6. Jerry Savoie; 7. Andrew Hines; 8. Hector Arana; 9. Matt Smith; 10. Melissa Surber; 11. Angie Smith; 12. Cory Reed; 13. Steve Johnson; 14. Karen Stoffer; 15. Ryan Oehler; 16. Joey Gladstone. Final:Eddie Krawiec, Harley-Davidson, 6.922, 194.91 def. Scotty Pollacheck, Suzuki, 6.958, 193.18.
Point standings after seven of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
TOP FUEL: 1. Steve Torrence, 581; 2. Tony Schumacher, 461; 3. Doug Kalitta, 458; 4. Clay Millican, 448; 5. Leah Pritchett, 435; 6. Antron Brown, 390; 7. Brittany Force, 375; 8. Terry McMillen, 336; 9. Richie Crampton, 280; 10. Mike Salinas, 275.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Courtney Force, 546; 2. Jack Beckman, 538; 3. Matt Hagan, 487; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 436; 5. J.R. Todd, 428; 6. Robert Hight, 421; 7. Ron Capps, 404; 8. Cruz Pedregon, 357; 9. Shawn Langdon, 301; 10. Tim Wilkerson, 293.
PRO STOCK: 1. Vincent Nobile, 534; 2. Bo Butner, 486; 3. Greg Anderson, 463; 4. Chris McGaha, 460; 5. Drew Skillman, 444; 6. Tanner Gray, 439; 7. Erica Enders, 438; 8. Deric Kramer, 414; 9. Jason Line, 368; 10. Alex Laughlin, 349.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Eddie Krawiec, 286; 2. Andrew Hines, 261; 3. Scotty Pollacheck, 246; 4. Jerry Savoie, 203; 5. Angelle Sampey, 177; 6. Hector Arana, 159; 7. LE Tonglet, 154; 8. Hector Arana Jr, 153; 9. Cory Reed, 142; 10. Steve Johnson, 121.