Photo Credit: Gary Nastase / Auto Imagery

BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 7, 2024). – Funny Car rookie Austin Prock reversed the order of finish from last week’s NHRA New England Nationals at Epping, N.H., using a starting line advantage to drive his Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS past the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Camaro of boss and teammate John Force in the final round of Saturday’s Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge at Bristol Dragway.

The 28-year-old phenom, son of crew chief Jimmy Prock and grandson of Tom Prock, who drove Funny Cars in 1970s, will try to double-up in Sunday’s main event, the 23rd renewal of the Super Grip Thunder Valley Nationals on the same track.

Prock, who won four times in the Top Fuel category before sliding almost effortlessly into the cockpit of the car previously driven by three-time World Champ Robert Hight, grabbed an .042 of a second edge at the start, then eased his 12,000 horsepower hot rod over the troublesome “Bristol Bump” in 4.049 seconds at 312.57 miles per hour to beat his mentor by a scant .026 of a second and give JFR its sixth win in the two-year history of the unique bonus series that recreates the semifinals rounds from the most recent tour event.  

It was the second #2Fast2Tasty win for Prock, who prevailed earlier this year at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Force, who was seeking his second straight win in the bonus series, stopped the timers in 4.033 seconds at 315.27 mph.  

“John, he’s done a lot for me in my career, and I definitely want to show him I’m capable of winning,” Prock said of his mentor. “If you can beat that guy, you’re getting the job done. He’s one of the toughest competitors out here and I love racing him. Man, you should have seen us back in the staging lanes. We were grinning ear-to-ear, duking it out again. He was talking a little smack and I was just laughing.”

As for Force, he was as happy as anyone could be who didn’t turn on the win light.

“It was a win-win situation going into that final because the teams share the money,” Force said. “I always want to win in this PEAK Chevy, but if I’m going to lose to somebody, I want it to be my teammate, Austin Prock. It was a good day for John Force Racing.”

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Semifinals – John Force, PEAK Coolant and Antifreeze Chevrolet Camaro, 4.119, 269.83 mph, def. J.R. Todd, Toyota Supra, 5.792, 123.91 mph; Austin Prock, Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro, 4.236, 265.95 mph, def. Daniel Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.254, 247.93 mph.

FINAL – Prock, 4.049, 312.57 mph, def. Force, 4.033, 325.27 mph.