Austin Prock will make his professional debut in Top Fuel at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals on Friday. The son of legendary tuner Jimmy Prock obtained his Top Fuel license during preseason testing at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix and will race for John Force Racing in Pomona.
Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Butner (Pro Stock) were last year’s winners of a race that will be televised on Fox Sports 1 (FS1), including finals coverage beginning at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10. It is the first of 18 events during the new-look 2019 NHRA Pro Stock season and there won’t be a repeat champion after Tanner Gray departed after last year.
But plenty of top-quality competition remains, including 2017 world champion Butner, and Elite Motorsports teammates Erica Enders, a two-time world champ and Jeg Coughlin, who has five world titles and finished second a year ago. The veteran performed well down the stretch in 2018 and hopes that carries over to this weekend in Pomona after an extremely productive off-season.
“I feel as though we’re the best prepared we have been for the start of a season,” Coughlin said. “Testing went really well. We had a top-running car at end of last season and basically the team made some enhancements on what we were doing then and now it’s time to see where we stack up. I’m excited for season and anxious to see if we can capitalize on the huge momentum we built in last year’s Countdown (to the Championship).”
Prock became a late entry at Pomona and will drive a dragster tuned by Jon Schaffer and Ronnie Thompson. Thompson was one of the crew chiefs on Brittany Force’s Top Fuel dragster when she won the championship in 2017. The entire John Force Racing tuning braintrust will assist with tuning the dragster.
The rookie previously licensed in Funny Car while driving both John Force and Courtney Force’s Funny Cars. The team announced in its preseason release that Prock would obtain his Top Fuel license with an eye on securing sponsorship for the 2019 season. The team has yet to announce a sponsorship, but that will not keep the racer on the sidelines for Pomona.
Gayle Anderson was live in Pomona at the Auto Club Raceway for the 2019 Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by Protect The Harvest.
Racing runs through Thursday, February 7th through Sunday, February 10th for more information visit their website.
If you have questions, please feel free to call Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732 or e-mail Gayle at Gayle.Anderson@KTLA.com