NHRA Top Fuel star Leah Pritchett, shown driving a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in NHRA Factory Stock Showdown competition last year, will race in all seven 2018 Factory Stock Showdown events, in addition to her Top Fuel duties. Credit PRNewswire
NHRA Top Fuel Star Leah Pritchett to Drive Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in Full Factory Stock Showdown Schedule
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ —
- NHRA Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett to also race in all seven SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown events in 2018
- Pritchett to drive Don Schumacher Racing (DSR)-prepped, supercharged Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak starting at NHRA Gatornationals in March
- New DSR employee and NHRA Stock Eliminator World Champion Kevin Helms to serve as crew chief for Pritchett’s Factory Stock Showdown team
- Fans can vote to pick Pritchett’s vehicle graphics at motorsports lifestyle website
- New Dodge Garage, a digital content hub for muscle car and race enthusiasts launches, will include highlights from NHRA season
It’s shaping up to be a busy 2018 season for Leah Pritchett. In addition to the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) star’s responsibilities behind the wheel of her Mopar Dodge//SRT NHRA Top Fuel Dragster, Pritchett will also steer a supercharged Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in the full slate of 2018 SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown events.
Pritchett’s 354-cubic-inch HEMI® engine-powered Drag Pak will be prepped and maintained by the DSR team, led by crew chief and new DSR employee Kevin Helms. Helms brings years of experience driving and tuning a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak to his new role, including a 2015 NHRA Stock Eliminator World Championship and 2017 NHRA Stock and Super Stock runner-up finishes.
“We’re excited that, in addition to competing under the banner of the Mopar and Dodge brands in the NHRA Top Fuel class, Leah Pritchett will also carry our colors into NHRA Factory Stock Showdown competition,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA. “Leah is a fierce competitor and a great brand ambassador, and we look forward to cheering her on in double-duty at seven events this year.”
Pritchett first tasted Factory Stock Showdown competition last year, racing at two events in the popular NHRA Sportsman category. That exposure stoked her competitive fires to embark on a full 2018 schedule.
“You should see the smile on my face, whether I’m talking about it or my team is talking about it,” said Pritchett, who in 2018 will also mark her second full year in a Top Fuel dragster. “It’s a dream come true. The double-duty aspect, I had a taste of it last year and honestly, I think it makes me a better racer overall. When we roll out in 2018, the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak will be put on the track by Don Schumacher Racing, which makes me feel fulfilled in every way. We have proven to have a very competitive racecar, and the goal is to be the quickest and fastest in both silos (Factory Stock and Top Fuel).
“To have a three-time World Champion Sportsman racer like Kevin Helms (as crew chief) is definitely an ace in my pocket, and I’m just being a student of his. We have had a pretty good off-season of development. The test sessions we’ve had, I never experienced a crew chief that was a driver and tuner before, so the dynamic is very exciting and compelling to me. Kevin is definitely a very large asset to the program, which gives me a ton of confidence.”
Starting today, fans also have the power to choose the look of Pritchett’s NHRA Factory Stock Showdown racecar. A pair of Mopar and Dodge//SRT-themed livery concepts, designed by motorsports lifestyle brand Hoonigan, will be featured on a special section of Hoonigan’s website, for a fan vote that will end at 11:59 p.m. ET on February 8.
Pritchett will carry the winning design at all seven NHRA Factory Stock Showdown races, starting at the first event, the NHRA Gatornationals, scheduled for March 15-18 in Gainesville, Florida.
Dodge//SRT offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. Dodge is FCA North America’s mainstream performance brand, and SRT is positioned as the ultimate performance halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge, who founded the company in 1914. Their influence continues today. New for 2018, the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the fastest quarter-mile production car in the world and most powerful muscle car ever, is taking the world by storm, along with the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT, America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV, and the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody. These new SRT ultimate performance models join a brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger, including the 707-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Charger SRT Hellcat, the quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world.
Mopar made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era, with Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, and expanded to include technical service and customer support. Today, the Mopar brand’s global reach distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 25 customer contact centers globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance customer and dealer support worldwide.
SOURCE FCA US LLC