Albrecht's Fast Track motorcycle shop joins DSR at last minute
to put Pritchett on track this weekend in NHRA Route 66 Nationals
BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Chicago area resident Dave Albrecht and his Albrecht's Fast Track motorcycle repair and service reached a last-minute agreement Friday with Don Schumacher Racing that will allow Leah Pritchett to compete for her second Top Fuel event title of the year this weekend in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago
"I've been working hard with Don (Schumacher) on some long-term marketing partnerships but when nothing had materialized last week it looked like we wouldn't be racing at Route 66," said Pritchett, a native of Southern California and graduate of Cal State San Bernardino now living outside of Indianapolis in Avon.
"We had put everything away in our new DSR trailers waiting for our next opportunity and then after Dave stepped up we were able to unlock their doors and start getting ready to race again, and for that I am very much thankful and excited to make the most of this opportunity for Albrecht's Fast Track."
Albrecht is the nephew of Bob Albrecht, a longtime supporter and friend of Don Schumacher Racing.
While DSR works diligently with Pritchett, 28, to secure funding for the remainder of the 24-race Mello Yello season and beyond, Albrecht's noted motorcycle repair and customizing shop in his hometown of Des Plaines, Ill., will fund DSR's new fourth Top Fuel dragster team for the 13th event of the Mello Yello season when the Route 66 Nationals begins with qualifying at 6 p.m. (CT) Friday.
Despite missing one race before joining DSR part time at Atlanta in mid-May, the popular driver will arrive at the Route 66 Nationals ranked 10th after advancing to the quarterfinals two weeks ago at Norwalk, Ohio, with the independent Lagana Brothers team. It was her third race with Lagana after starting the year with Bob Vandergriff Racing that closed after four events when owner Bob Vandergriff abruptly retired upon the death of a primary sponsor and close friend.
Route 66 will be her fourth event with DSR and the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals over Labor Day Weekend is the next on their schedule. Her crew chiefs at Route 66 will be veterans Mike Guger and Joe Barlam who directed her first Top Fuel win in February near Phoenix.
Albrecht, 52, opened Fast Track (FastTrackParts.com) 28 years ago. The respected motorcycle shop at 1664 E. Oakton Street is in Des Plaines, where he grew up and returned after graduating from Northern Illinois University with a degree in marketing.
This is Albrecht's second foray into sponsoring a DSR entry, and he hopes to keep his record perfect. In 2008, he sponsored a DSR-owned Pro Stock Motorcycle ridden by Craig Treble for one NHRA national event and Treble went on to win the trophy.
"I've known Don for about 15 years and it's incredible to get this opportunity to put Albrecht's Fast Track in front of a big TV audience (on Fox Sports 1) and the big crowds they get at Route 66," said Albrecht, who races his 170-mph Suzuki Hayabusa at the track in Joliet.
Dave's father, Jim Albrecht, who retired as a deputy chief with the Des Plaines Fire Department in 1995 and now regularly works at Albrecht's Fast Track.
LEAH PRITCHETT: Albrecht's Fast Track
Last event Norwalk, Ohio, June 24-26: Qualified No. 13, lost in second round to J.R. Todd
A year ago at Chicago: Qualified No. 10, lost in first round to J.R. Todd
Career at Chicago: Wins 0; Runner-ups 0; Poles 0