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Drag racing’s biggest event ready to hit Indianapolis

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Drag racing’s best roar into town this week for the NHRA’s biggest event of the season.

The U.S. Nationals begin at Lucas Oil Raceway on Wednesday.  It’s the last event before the Countdown to the Championship begins, so drivers are looking to secure their spot.  The top 10 drivers in each category – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – will advance to the playoffs.

Leah Pritchett is currently tied for 10th in the Top Fuel point standings with Terry McMillen, so the Don Schumacher Racing driver is hoping for a big weekend.

“I can’t tell you if it’s ever come down to this before,” Pritchett told Indy Sports Central.  “Qualifying is super important for our team, because you get points for that.   If we come out of the U.S. Nationals just one point ahead of that other team, then we get a chance to run off for the championship.”

The week kicks off with a fan event Wednesday at Monument Circle showcasing the drivers in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout.  The shootouts are bonus races for this year’s winners in the Top Fuel and Funny Car divisions.  Shootout winners receive $100,000.

Fans will also have the opportunity to tour Don Schumacher’s Racing facility in Brownsburg Friday during an open house.  The event benefits Riley Hospital for Children.

“It’s the busiest and for me, probably the most exciting week of my entire career,”  Pritchett said.