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Watch the Papa Johns Top Fuel Team THRASH between rounds at NHRA Fallen Patriots Route 66 Nationals!

Following her excellent runs in qualifying at the NHRA Fallen Patriots Route 66 Nationals last weekend, Leah Pritchett went into eliminations with high hopes to lock up her fourth win on the season and reel in points leader Steve Torrence. Eliminations kicked off with a big step in the right direction when Pritchett took out Road to the Future contender Troy Coughlin Jr with a 3.85 ET, a solid run despite blowing a head gasket in the Papa John’s Pizza dragster as she neared the finish line.

With the raceday schedule incredibly tight due to television constraints, the the team has to quite literally thrash to tear the engine down, check everything out, and rebuild it for Leah’s round 2 matchup with DSR teammate Antron Brown. With the 11,000 horsepower engine pushing out the head gasket, the team pulled the short block out as well, a step they usually only take if there’s a reason to believe there could be damage to the block or crank. However, as you can see in the video below, the team’s perfectly-orchestrated thrash means they only need minutes to have the engine stripped down to the short block, which is then removed with the crankshaft, rods and pistons still in place. A fresh short block is dropped into the frame rails and the reassembly process begins. A few short minutes later and the engine resembles an engine again.

Finally, the finishing touches are applied, everything is torqued to spec and bolted together, and the engine is test fired less than an hour after the disassembly process began. To put that into perspective, these guys completely rebuilt the engine from top to bottom in less time than it takes most of us to change the oil in our daily driver! A stuck clutch regulator caused the gold Papa John’s Pizza digger to smoke the tires in round number two, ending Leah’s day. Antron went on to runner-up to Torrence, who took the win in the finals by just five thousandths of a second.