Leah Pruett will step away from the NHRA drag racing series in 2024 to focus on starting a family with Tony Stewart. Her NASCAR Hall of Fame husband will replace her next season in the Top Fuel dragster that Pruett drove to a career-best third-place finish in the NHRA standings this year.
Pruett and Stewart married just over two years ago.
“This is an incredibly personal decision, and what led to making this decision are other personal situations that have happened in my life and our lives,” Pruett told The Associated Press in an interview with Stewart. “Time is not on anyone’s side, and time is not gender neutral. But when it comes to being a female and a female racer, time is particularly not on your side. One of the decision-making factors was, ‘What do we want our life to look like when we have a family?’ And it is easy to sit back and have the immediate view that we’ve got this killer race team and we can do what we didn’t do this year, which is win a championship.
“But stepping back and thinking about long term and what our family looks like, it was just the right time at the right decision.”
Pruett won two races this season in the Dodge Top Fuel dragster driving for Tony Stewart Racing, which won the Funny Car championship with Matt Hagan. Pruett has 12 career Top Fuel victories. Stewart ran the full NHRA season in 2023 in the Top Alcohol Dragster class.