Leah Pritchett earned her fourth Top Fuel win of 2017 at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, as Alexis DeJoria (Funny Car), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (PS Motorcycle) also won.
Pritchett, who raced the quickest pass in NHRA history during qualifying, ran a 3.682-second pass at 328.06 mph in her Papa John’s Pizza dragster to defeat Don Schumacher Racing teammate and reigning world champion Antron Brown's 4.001 at 246.35 in his Matco Tools dragster.
“Don Schumacher has given me the best team, in my opinion,” Pritchett said. “We keep continuing to prove that. I really like that these numbers and their work ethic and the consistency really backs it up when I say we have the best team because we have the best hot rod. We’re going to enjoy this win.”
Pritchett defeated Rob Passey, Scott Palmer and Clay Millican before facing off against Brown who defeated Shawn Langdon, Brittany Force and Steve Torrence en route to his fifth consecutive finals appearance of the season. Brown now leads the Top Fuel points standings.
Alexis DeJoria raced to her first win of the season, fifth of her career and the 250th women’s victory in NHRA history when her Tequila Patron Toyota Camry’s 3.906sec 330.96mph pass defeated Tommy Johnson Jr.’s Make-a-wish Dodge Charger R/T in the finals.
“The last two years have been really difficult,” DeJoria said. “Lots of ups and downs, injuries, no wins… We just couldn’t get up to speed with everybody else.
“You start to forget the love that you had in the beginning. It’s times like those that make this so much better. You really appreciate every moment. This is a huge win for us.”
DeJoria raced against Tim Wilkerson, Cruz Pedregon and 16-time world champ John Force before making it to her first finals appearance of the season. Johnson Jr. defeated rookie Jonnie Lindberg, Courtney Force and world record holder Robert Hight before falling to DeJoria in the finals. It was his fifth finals appearance of the season.
Rookie Tanner Gray powered to the fourth victory of his career defeating points leader Bo Butner with a 6.610 at 208.04 in his Gray Motorsports / Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro. Butner, who has secured the #1 seed heading into the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six-race playoffs, raced a 6.629 at 207.85 in his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro.
“I’m not sure what my team has done but they’ve got a handle on this car the last few races," Gray said. "They got something going right for them over there. They’re making my job a whole lot easier and I’m just blessed to be able to sit in the driver’s seat.”
Gray defeated two-time world champion Erica Enders and reigning world champion Jason Line before reaching the finals. Butner defeated Doug Rivers, Gray’s father, Shane, and KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson to get to his eighth finals appearance of the season.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Jerry Savoie, the Pro Stock Motorcycle reigning world champion, defeated teammate and points leader LE Tonglet in the finals for his second win of the season and eighth of his career. Savoie’s 6.846 pass at 194.80 on his White Alligator Racing Suzuki bettered Tonglet’s 6.910 at 194.02 on his Nitro Fish Racing Suzuki.
“The season has been really good," Savoie said. "I’ve had some misfortune a couple times and my riding hasn’t been like it should be. LE is solid as a rock so when you beat him it’s pretty rewarding.
“He’s taught me a lot and I’ve taught him some things and we thrive off each other. We bring out the best in each other and that’s what it takes to win races.”
Savoie beat Mike Berry, Angie Smith and Matt Smith to reach the final, while Tonglet took down Cory Reed and five-time world champ Andrew Hines.
Final finish order at Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway
TOP FUEL: 1. Leah Pritchett; 2. Antron Brown; 3. Steve Torrence; 4. Clay Millican; 5. Brittany Force; 6. Doug Kalitta; 7. Tony Schumacher; 8. Scott Palmer; 9. Shawn Langdon; 10. Chris Karamesines; 11. Terry Haddock; 12. Terry McMillen; 13. Rob Passey; 14. Steven Chrisman; 15. Luigi Novelli; 16. Troy Coughlin Jr.
Final: Leah Pritchett, 3.682 seconds, 328.06 mph def. Antron Brown, 4.001 seconds, 246.35 mph.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Alexis DeJoria; 2. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 3. John Force; 4. Robert Hight; 5. Ron Capps; 6. Cruz Pedregon; 7. Courtney Force; 8. Jack Beckman; 9. J.R. Todd; 10. Brian Stewart; 11. Dale Creasy Jr.; 12. Tim Wilkerson; 13. Del Worsham; 14. Jonnie Lindberg; 15. Matt Hagan; 16. Jim Campbell.
Final: Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.906, 330.96 def. Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.933, 324.44.
PRO STOCK: 1. Tanner Gray; 2. Bo Butner; 3. Greg Anderson; 4. Jason Line; 5. Drew Skillman; 6. Allen Johnson; 7. Erica Enders; 8. Shane Gray; 9. Jeg Coughlin; 10. Deric Kramer; 11. John Gaydosh Jr; 12. Alan Prusiensky; 13. Vincent Nobile; 14. Dave River; 15. Mark Hogan.
Final: Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.610, 208.04 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.629, 207.85.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. Jerry Savoie; 2. LE Tonglet; 3. Andrew Hines; 4. Matt Smith; 5. Eddie Krawiec; 6. Hector Arana Jr; 7. Cory Reed; 8. Angie Smith; 9. Joey Gladstone; 10. Karen Stoffer; 11. Scotty Pollacheck; 12. Mike Berry; 13. Jim Underdahl; 14. Freddie Camarena; 15. Angelle Sampey; 16. Steve Johnson.
Final: Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.846, 194.80 def. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.910, 194.02.
Point standings after 17 of 24 events in the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:
TOP FUEL: 1. Antron Brown, 1,513; 2. Steve Torrence, 1,482; 3. Leah Pritchett, 1,453; 4. Tony Schumacher, 1,121; 5. Brittany Force, 1,052; 6. Doug Kalitta, 1,038; 7. Clay Millican, 1,014; 8. Terry McMillen, 722; 9. Scott Palmer, 649; 10. Troy Coughlin Jr., 576.
FUNNY CAR: 1. Ron Capps, 1,383; 2. Robert Hight, 1,247; 3. Matt Hagan, 1,214; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 1,180; 5. Jack Beckman, 1,160; 6. Courtney Force, 1,012; 7. John Force, 954; 8. Tim Wilkerson, 792; 9. J.R. Todd, 788; 10. Alexis DeJoria, 664.
PRO STOCK: 1. Bo Butner, 1,526; 2. Tanner Gray, 1,300; 3. Greg Anderson, 1,263; 4. Jason Line, 1,123; 5. Drew Skillman, 1,089; 6. Erica Enders, 1,044; 7. Jeg Coughlin, 1,006; 8. Vincent Nobile, 899; 9. Allen Johnson, 657; 10. Chris McGaha, 645.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE: 1. LE Tonglet, 874; 2. Eddie Krawiec, 690; 3. Jerry Savoie, 655; 4. Hector Arana Jr, 632; 5. Matt Smith, 581; 6. Andrew Hines, 529; 7. Scotty Pollacheck, 528; 8. Joey Gladstone, 427; 9. Karen Stoffer, 408; 10. Angie Smith, 394.