How To Crush A Record In An 11,000 Horsepower Top Fuel Dragster

GIF via TheHoonigans

Last Friday, Leah Pritchett broke the Top Fuel national time record with a ludicrously quick 3.658-second pass at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, reaching a ridiculous 329.34 mph in that short time. Here’s everything she and her team had to remember to get out of the way to prepare for such a run.

Racing snobs tend to write off drag racing as overly simple, but there is nothing easy about keeping an 11,000-horsepower engine in top shape, or about keeping it heading in a straight line at speeds most road racers will never see.

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Here’s not only Pritchett’s insanely fast record-breaking run, but the full ritual she went through beforehand. She doesn’t just strap in—she runs through a few systems checks and her crew has to attach the starter to the car just to get it going.

We’re big fans of the pre-run burnout, naturally.

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About the author

Stef Schrader

Contributor, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.