Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett walked away from a high-altitude crash Sunday at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals when her Mopar-sponsored dragster broke apart at over 260 mph.
Pruett, third in the Top Fuel points standings, was squaring off with her Don Schumacher Racing teammate, Tony Schumacher, in the second round of eliminations at the World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis, Missouri when her dragster broke in front of the footbox in unbelievable fashion just beyond half-track, sending her sailing though the air and crashing back to earth in a shower of debris and sparks. Pruett quickly climbed from the battered machine and gave a thumbs-up to the assembled crowd, assuring she was A-ok after the terrifying ordeal.
“The was the most intense round of competition I’ve ever had and the wildest ride I’ve ever had, that’s for sure,” said Pruett who, despite the setback, remains third in the standings behind points leader Steve Torrence and Doug Kalitta. “We’re still taking time to process and look at the parts and put a plan together for how to move forward. For me, my body is fine. My mind is fine. The DSR chassis and Impact safety equipment did everything it was supposed to. As a drag racer this is what we do. There’s a risk. I think the quicker you can get back on the track, the better. Let’s not ever do that again. I thank the lord, my team, the chassis shop, Don (Schumacher), and everybody that helped. Not a great start to October and that was an early Halloween surprise. That’s for sure.”