Feb 28, 2016; Chandler, AZ, USA; NHRA top fuel driver Leah Pritchett during the Carquest Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

CHANDLER, Ariz. — Leah Pritchett raced to her first Top Fuel victory Sunday at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix, Pritchett used a quicker reaction time and a performance of 3.775 seconds at 323.12 mph in her Quaker State dragster to finish in front of Brittany Force’s 3.774 at 321.35 in her Monster Energy dragster.

It was the first all-female Top Fuel final since Shirley Muldowney defeated Lucille Lee in 1982 in Columbus, Ohio. It is only the fourth time two women have decided a pro class victory in the Mello Yello Series. Angelle Sampey and Karen Stoffer have met twice in finals in Pro Stock Motorcycle, most recently at Norwalk last season.

Feb 28, 2016; Chandler, AZ, USA; NHRA top fuel driver Leah Pritchett celebrates after winning the Carquest Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“It is the happiest day of my life, besides getting married of course,” said Pritchett, who posted a runner-up finish in her only other Top Fuel final, last season at Atlanta. “This is what dreams are made of.

“I feel like I just won the Super Bowl, even though it’s only the second race and it’s not the U.S. Nationals, for me it’s an incredible personal and professional victory to be able to compete with the team that I’m with.”

Pritchett outran J.R. Todd, Clay Millican and Antron Brown in the first three rounds before defeating Force in the final. She is the 16th woman to win a Mello Yello Series race and the eighth female to win in the Top Fuel category.   Pritchett moved to fifth in the points standings with the win.

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