Two weeks ago Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett posted a personal best 3.77 second pass at 320 mph, a confidence-boosting feat as she rolls into her third career appearance at Bristol Dragway.

"I made it to the semi-finals in Pro Mod my first year here, but this is only my second year competing in Top Fuel so I don't have as much experience as my other competitors," said the 26-year-old drag racer. "At the end of the day, you're really racing yourself, and you're racing the track. We have a really good hot rod. Our car's consistent and it's fast. If I was the competition, I'd be worried."

Despite having enough confidence to issue warnings to the field, the Dote Racing driver admits there are times she still marvels at the drivers she lines up against.

"When I race against guys like Doug Kalitta, Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher - some of those people are the ones I watched as a little, tiny fan going 'I want to race against them someday," said Pritchett, who started racing at 8 years old. "Now you're able to race your heroes, and you want to beat your heroes. There's an awe factor to it for sure."

Her wonder also extends to Bristol's legendary quarter-mile, a track that always makes the cut on the team's shortened schedule.

"This Dragway has 360 degrees of everything that a driver wants, that a team wants and what the fans want," said Pritchett. "From how beautiful it is to the different types of experiences that a fan can have with the thunder of the cars being inside the thunder of the mountains, to the way the facility and management treat the fans and the drivers - it's a top level experience.

"Dote Racing runs in 15 of the 24 [races]. We get to choose which races we compete at, and we will always have this racetrack on our schedule. We love coming here."

Tickets to feel the thunder at Bristol Dragway's Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals start at just $84 for the weekend with Sunday single-day adult tickets as low as $25. To reserve your seat, call (855) 580-5525 or visit www.ThunderValleyTix.com.