Dani Ben-Ari
The Driving Range

NHRA Top Fuel drag racer Leah Pruett has been tapped to serve as honorary chairperson for the 2021 Motorsports Hall of Fame of America induction ceremonies, to be held at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, MI on September 29. At the same time, three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves will serve as honorary chairperson for the Class 2020 Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, which was delayed last year due to Covid-19.

“It is such an incredible honor to be selected as the Honorary Chairperson of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America’s 2021 class, says Pruett. “Especially this year since three of the nine inductees are women (Janet Guthrie, Judy Stropus and Fran Muncey), which will be the most of any class in the Hall’s history,” Pruett stated. Pruett noted that these women have helped knock down barriers and pave the way for other females, like herself, to have the opportunity to compete. “The women who came before me,” noted Pruett, “helped to redefine how women are perceived in motorsports.” Pruett noted it now her goal to help contribute to their legacy, and make all of the 2021 inductees proud.

Racer Pruett, who currently drives the Mopar Dodge//SRT Top Fuel dragster for NHRA team owner Don Schumacher, was born Leah Christine Prtichett on May 26, 1988 in Redlands, CA. She, began competing in the NHRA’s Jr. Dragster League when she was just 8 years old. Winning 37 event titles, and two Division 7 championships (2000, 2001), she knows what it means to be a female racer. From there Pruett worked her way up through the ranks in drag racing, competing in the NHRA’s Hot Rod Heritage Series and Pro Mod Series. She then transitioned to the professional Top Fuel category in 2013. Her first victory in a national event occurred February 28, 2016 at the Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nations in Chandler, AZ, where she beat Brittany Force in the first all-female final round in Top Fuel since 1982.

Since 2016, Pruitt has achieved a Top 10 finish every year, and was 2018 NHRA Factory Stock Showdown Series world champion, not to mention the 2010 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Nostalgia Funny Car champion. Pruett was also inducted into the MSHFA Class of 2019. Meanwhile, she has sent retired NASCAR driver Tony Stewart’s heart racing, and the two announced their engagement earlier this year.