To suggest Ryan Priddy’s Comp win at the recent NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas was a long time coming would be a gross understatement. Priddy is best known for his role as a longtime crew member for the SoCal-based Mountain View team, but he also sports a strong driving resume that includes five NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series wins and, now, a national Wally event.

Priddy never doubted his ability to win a national event. He just had to wait for the right opportunity.

“Luckily the Mitsos family trusted me to drive this great Comp car, and I’m glad we finally put all the pieces together to bring it into the winner’s circle,” Priddy said after his victory in the final. against Doug Lambeck. in Las Vegas. “Obviously it’s a really good car. I just needed not to mess it up. I tried to do it a few times but we got through it, and I couldn’t be happier for Nick. and Irene Mitsos and the rest of the family. It’s so cool to win a race with them.

“With the Vegas win, I don’t even know where to start,” Priddy said. “It’s pretty awesome. I was a finalist in Top Sportsman a while ago [2015 JEGS SPORTSnationals], and I had a semi-final in Super Comp years ago. So, yes, I waited a long time to finally win a national event.

Despite his reputation as a crew member, Priddy has plenty of experience as a pilot. He has raced both a six-second Top Dragster and most recently drove the Mitsos family COPO Camaro in the Constant Aviation NHRA Factory Stock Showdown. He’s also an accomplished bracket runner who can hold his own in big-money events. Despite all his previous experience, Priddy is quick to admit that his current A/Altered Camaro is an entirely different animal. The Jerry Haas-built Chevy features a 730 cid Chevy/Hemi hybrid that was originally built by the late Sonny Leonard. Currently the car is being tuned by cylinder head specialist Erik Jones with help from FuelTech’s Luis de Leon, as well as Mountain View Performance’s Jeff Jacobs and David Beckley.

“For something that goes over 200 mph, it’s a really smooth car,” he said. “It drives like a Cadillac; It’s not out of control at all. That being said, it pulls you some Gs when launching, and it really grabs your attention when shooting drops. I had some really good tire wobble with it, but I think we have that under control now, but honestly I’m very comfortable in it.

Priddy thought he was bringing a competitive car to the NHRA four-man Nationals, but a few issues in qualifying may have tempered his expectations.

“In our first qualifying race we had a problem with the transmission, then we had a problem with our EFI, where a file got corrupted. Somehow it added a bunch of timing, and I thought we burned the engine. It wasn’t, but I wasn’t sure exactly where we were before the eliminations.

The key to success in Comp is to avoid a potentially disastrous Competitive Index Control (CIC) infraction, and Priddy managed to do just that, reaching the final with his 7.22 index intact. At the same time, he was well aware that his opponent Lambeck had lost a full tenth, giving the Mountain View team a decisive advantage.

In the final, Priddy was finally a little later on the start line than he wanted (.079), and he stayed on the gas a little longer than necessary, running a (-.617) 6.603, but the light of victory shone in his lane, which was the only thing that mattered at the time.

“Doug is an awesome rider, but I think I was calmer in the final than in qualifying, if that makes sense,” Priddy said. “It also helped to have a clean index finger. I was a little mad at myself for taking a hundredth [CIC penalty]but it was worth it.”

A week after his decisive victory in Las Vegas, Priddy made it to the finals of the Division 7 Lucas Oil Series event. As a result, he is currently ranked No. 2 in the battle for the championship. Admittedly, he is one of the favorites at the start of the season to win the title, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

“We’re just going to keep plugging in,” Priddy said. “We plan to go to Richmond with the Comp car and the Factory Stock car, so we’ll see how it goes. My No. 1 priority remains Paul and his Top Sportsman car. He has a new car coming, and we have to settle that.

“There is still a lot left in this car; I just need to run a little smarter. It’s also hard to race against slower cars because I only catch them at 1,200 feet. No matter what happens the rest of the way, I’m happy. I can’t say enough about the opportunity Nick and Irene gave me, and I owe a lot to everyone at Mountain View Performance, Fast Tires and Auto, Dave at Performance Transmissions and our main sponsors, NAPA and Havoline . ”