Leah Christine Pruett (born May 26, 1988 in Redlands, California) is an American drag racer, currently driving an NHRA Top Fuel dragster for Don Schumacher Racing after previously being employed at Bob Vandergriff Racing before the company closed in April 2016. Her first career national event win on the professional level came February 28, 2016 at the Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Chandler, Arizona, defeating Brittany Force in the first all-female final round in Top Fuel since 1982. Pruett debuted in Top Fuel in 2013 with Dote Racing after previously competing in Pro Mod and Nostalgia Funny Car.
Top Fuel Drag Racing
Leah Pruettt’s journey to the pinnacle of drag racing began when she and her family joined the NHRA Jr. Dragster youth racing program where she won 37 trophies between the ages of eight and 16.
At 18, she built a Nostalgia nitro Funny car with her father Ron, a former Bonneville Salt Flats record holder, and became the first woman to run in the 5-second range in a Nostalgia Funny Car.
She also set the record for fastest Nostalgia nitro Funny Car, being the first to exceed 250-mph. In 2010, she branched off from her family’s racing operation and began driving for Steve Plueger, where she became the Hot Rod Heritage Series champion, winning multiple prestigious races and setting records.
It wasn’t long before her success was noticed by professional Funny Car and Pro Mod team owner Roger Burgess. In 2011, she moved to Atlanta to begin driving Pro Modified cars for his R2B2 racing operation, where she won three national events in two seasons.
Two years later, she joined Dote Racing in the ranks of Top Fuel and finished the year ranked 15th despite competing in only half of the 24-race schedule. She was a finalist for NHRA Road to The Future rookie award despite missing 12 races.
In 2018, Pruett closed out her second full season as a member of Don Schumacher Racing with a championship title in the Factory Stock Showdown Series, and a top-five finish in the Top Fuel class.
Throughout 2018, Pruett pulled double-duty, competing in the full seven-event Factory Stock Showdown Series schedule while simultaneously competing in the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. She clinched the 2018 SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown Series championship in her Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals when she raced to her third consecutive win during her first full year competing in the class. Her first win came at the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals where she raced to victory from her second Factory Stock No. 1 qualifier. At the very next event, she became the first Factory Stock driver to make a seven second pass.
The 2018 Factory Stock Showdown crown was the fourth title for Pritchett. By securing the Factory Stock title, Pruett was the only professional driver to contend for two world titles during the 2018 NHRA season.
Behind the wheel of her Top Fuel dragster, Pruett raced to the final round five times in 2018, twice emerging victorious. She qualified for her third consecutive NHRA Countdown to the championship playoff appearance and finished the season fourth, her best Mello Yello Series points finish to date. At the final event of the season, Pruett unleashed a monster 3.631-second pass, which tied for the second quickest run in the history of the sport and cemented Pruett’s position as the quickest woman in NHRA history.