Pruett and Brand to represent R2B2 in U.S. Nationals Pro Mod field
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Even though something is missing at the rain-delayed 58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals for drivers in the NHRA Pro Mod Series presented by ProCare Rx, superstar pilot Leah Pruett is more than happy to finally be part of eliminations at drag racing's biggest event.
"Everything feels a little off," Pruett said. "Without all the fans and with so many trailers not in the pits any more it feels more like a test session attended by die-hard fans than the U.S. Nationals but after not getting into this race last year, I'll happily take a chance to race here in any way I can get it."
Before the rains came last weekend, Pruett was one of a handful of drivers on the outside looking in following a turbo failure in the lone qualifying session the Pro Mods ran.
This Saturday, Pruett guided her ProCare Rx twin-turbo Ford Mustang to a pass of 6.520 seconds at 241.80 mph.
"It felt like we were starting all over again today," Pruett said. "We had one shot to make the field and we made a good pass. The goal was to just make it to the other end of the track and put a number on the board.
"We spun the tires a little today but I've got a feeling we can get that fixed before first round tomorrow."
Pruett faces Donald Martin in the first round of qualifying on Sunday morning. Martin qualified No. 4 with a best pass of 5.961 seconds at 243.85 mph.
"We didn't really know what the track was going to give us today," Pruett said. "I don't think tomorrow will be any different. Our turbo cars run differently than the other Pro Mods and we apply power in different areas of the track so we have our work cut out for us."
Pruett's teammate for the weekend, Brad Brand, also made the field in the No. 16 spot. Team owner/driver Roger Burgess had to attend to business interests this weekend, so Brand filled his seat in the ProCare Rx turbo Chevy Camaro.
Brand had a wild run of 8.940 seconds at 103.96 mph during his qualifying pass, but that was good enough to be the first alternate in the field. Some Pro Mods that raced last weekend are racing in a different part of the country this weekend, so an alternate driver was needed and Brand got the nod.
In the first round, Brand will face No. 1 qualifier Don Walsh, who ran a 5.854 second pass at 245.05 mph.
Pro Mod eliminations will get started bright and early on Sunday morning at Lucas Oil Raceway. They are scheduled for before opening ceremonies, and will begin at approximately 10 a.m. EDT.
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