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Mopar returns to Top Fuel racing

by David Zatz on

Mopar and Pennzoil® will sponsor the NHRA Top Fuel Dragster driven by Leah Pritchett, returning Mopar to the class in which it first established its reputation for excellence at the dragstrip.

Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) driver Leah Pritchett will compete at select events in 2016, debuting the blue Omega M on her dragster at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, scheduled for July 22-24 at Bandimere Speedway, near Denver.

leah Pritchett

Drag racing icon “Big Daddy” Don Garlits captured most of his Top Fuel championships and event wins under Mopar HEMI® power. Mopar is now a sponsor in three of the four NHRA Pro classes (including Matt Hagan’s NHRA Funny Car and Pro Stock entries piloted by Erica Enders and Jeg Coughlin Jr.), and supports amateur NHRA Sportsman racers. Last year, it launched a new package car, the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak.

Shell already supplies oil and transmission fluids for Mopar in North America and elsewhere, and Pennzoil is the factory fill for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, and Ram vehicles as well as a major associate sponsor on Hagan’s Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car.

Leah Pritchett with Mopar Top Fuel dragster

Pennzoil has sponsored dragsters including Don Prudhomme and Eddie Hill, according to Jesse Campos, Director of OEM Marketing, Shell Lubricants, who said that the partnership would let Pennzoil test new and existing oil technologies. He also noted that the event would be broadcast on Fox nationwide, the first time an NHRA event made one of the top four networks.

Leah Pritchett, 28, captured her first career Top Fuel victory earlier this season, advancing to the semifinals at the recent Route 66 NHRA Nationals; she is in the top 10 in points.

“Shooting for the moon is what we do, and now to have two great global corporations like Mopar and Pennzoil get behind me is all I can ask, along with driving for Don Schumacher Racing, the most successful organization in drag racing,” said Pritchett, who claimed her very first NHRA Wally trophy at Bandimere Speedway as a nine-year-old Jr. Dragster racer. “This has been my goal for several years, and it means absolutely everything to me. I’m very proud to represent the Mopar brand in its return to Top Fuel.”

The first media showcase of the new Mopar/Pennzoil Top Fuel Dragster will take place at 12 p.m. (MT) today at Elway’s restaurant in Denver, site of the NHRA pre-race press conference. Pritchett will meet fans and sign autographs later that night at the 15th Annual Mopar Block Party in downtown Golden and debut her new machine at the track on Friday during the first qualifying session at Bandimere Speedway.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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