A couple that races together, stays together. That's what NHRA Top Fuel driver Leah Pruett and her new husband crewman Gary Pritchett are showing. The pair tied the knot in front of racing friends and family at the beautiful Avon Gardens in Avon, Indiana this past Saturday, October 21st.
A staple on the NHRA national event tour for the past few years, the couple have been living life a quarter-mile at a time. Pritchett, who is the godson of legendary Funny Car pilot Bunny Burkett, has time both behind the wheel and as a full-time crewmember for Steve Torrance’s Top Fuel operation.
Pruett made her debut in the nitro ranks in 2007 by earning her nitro funny car license with Don Schumacher’s team, auditioning for the seat vacated by Gary Scelzi. She piloted a pro mod for R2B2 Racing in 2011-2012, also subbing for Melanie Troxel in the In-N-Out Funny Car for her national event debut. This season marks her rookie season as the full-time driver for Dote Racing in Top Fuel.
With the two lovebirds competing against each other in the same top-tier class, the inevitable match-up is bound to occur. Steve Torrence and Leah Pruett squared off against each other during the first round of eliminations at the 13th Annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, TN this past June. With Pritchett standing in the middle, his boss on one side and his fiance in the other lane, there is bound to be some mixed emotions as the tree drops. Ultimately, his boss won the match-up but for Gary, any safe run is always a great run, and may the best car win.
Now that the couple have sealed the deal as husband and wife, will we see them team up on the trackl? Its always possible, but for now the two manage their professional careers solo before heading home to their personal lives together. Perhaps future opportunities will allow Pritchett to crew chief his wife’s racing operation, but with the fast paced life on the road, they’ll cross that bridge when they get to it.
The couple have not announced their honeymoon plans, postponing them until after the regular season allows them some time off. For now, they focus on the upcoming Las Vegas and Pomona races as the 2013 season comes to a close.