BAYTOWN, TX – May 20, 2021 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – It hasn’t been quite the start Leah Pruett wanted to her 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, but the Top Fuel star has a great opportunity to change that this weekend and the venue couldn’t be more ideal.
Racing in her 11,000-horsepower Pennzoil dragster, Pruett will look to put on a show at her sponsor’s race, the 34th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park. The eight-time event winner is searching for her first victory of the 2021 season, as well as her second victory at the facility. The first came in 2017 and Pruett will look to replicate that during a busy and thrilling weekend where she will also be competing in the popular Constant Aviation NHRA Factory Stock Showdown class.
“I’m very excited to get to Baytown. We’ll be at sea level, and I have no doubt we’ll be making those fast runs that get all of us hyped up,” Pruett said. “I’ll be back to pulling double-duty, running both my Top Fuel dragster and Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. I truly feel like when we get to Houston, it’ll be our ‘get healthy’ race and it’ll be a new beginning for us. We’re looking forward to laying down maximum horsepower on the Pennzoil proving grounds.”
Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) won last year at the event in Houston, which took place in October. This year’s event will be televised on Fox Sports 1 (FS1), including eliminations at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 23. It is the fifth race of the 2021 NHRA season and the first back-to-back race weekend of the year. Due to the impact of rain on the facility and the forecasted additional rain, the event will be a two-day race, with two rounds of qualifying on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday.
Pruett will have a chance to get right in qualifying as she tries to advance to the final round for the first time in 2021 as well. Currently ninth in points, a win would go a long way in jumpstarting Pruett’s season, but to do so she’ll have to race past the likes of three-time defending world champ and Texas native Steve Torrence, Brittany Force, Shawn Langdon, Doug Kalitta, Mike Salinas, Justin Ashley, Antron Brown, Josh Hart, and Clay Millican.
Defending Funny Car world champ Matt Hagan is also eager to get to Houston Raceway Park. He’s had a solid start to his 2021 campaign and is currently sitting fourth in points, but Hagan is still seeking his first victory of the season as well. Houston would be the perfect place to do that in his 11,000-horsepower Pennzoil Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye.
The team, led by standout crew chief Dickie Venables, made positive strides in Charlotte and Hagan believes the team is primed for a victory. To get it, the three-time world champ will have to get past the likes of points leader Bob Tasca III, Charlotte winner John Force, Gainesville winner J.R. Todd, Ron Capps, Tim Wilkerson, Cruz Pedregon, Alexis DeJoria, and Robert Hight.
“I’m pumped up to get to Houston,” Hagan said. “That’s where I got my first NHRA Funny Car win, so it will always have a special place in my heart. Houston always brings a great crowd, it’s a great facility and it’s a Pennzoil race track. There’s nothing better than going to your partner’s event at a partner’s track and we want to put on a great show. I have a great race car underneath me and it’s handling well and responding to the changes we’re making to it. We’re excited to see all of the folks down there in Baytown and it should be a fun weekend.”
Pro Stock’s Aaron Stanfield earned his first career win at the race in 2020 and will look to add to that this weekend. Standing in his way are several top drivers, including points leader Greg Anderson, defending world champ and Houston-area native Erica Enders, Charlotte winner and rookie Dallas Glenn, Troy Coughlin Jr., Mason McGaha, and Deric Kramer.
The event also includes thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where future stars of the sport hone their skills, along with the Constant Aviation NHRA Factory Stock Showdown Drag Racing Series and the Top Fuel Harley class.
Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds on Saturday, May 22 at 12:45 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 23. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 22, and eliminations beginning at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 23 on FS1.
ABOUT CAMPING WORLD
Camping World, headquartered in Lincolnshire, Illinois, is America’s leading retailer of RVs and related products and services, offering an extensive assortment of recreational vehicles for sale, RV and camping gear, RV maintenance and repair, other outdoor and active sports products, and the industry’s broadest and deepest range of services, protection plans, products and resources. Since the Company’s founding in 1966, Camping World has grown to become one of the most well-known destinations for everything RV, with more than 170 locations in 38 states and a comprehensive e-commerce platform. For more information, visit www.CampingWorld.com. Camping World’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CWH”.
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Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 22 national events featuring the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Factory Stock Showdown and Top Fuel Harley Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. With over 120 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. NHRA’s streaming service, NHRA.tv, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to www.NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. and YouTube.
Source: National Hot Rod Association