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After Two Wins in Phoenix, John Force Racing Looks to Keep Momentum Going in Vegas

John Force Racing comes into this weekend’s NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway looking to keep its momentum going after capturing two wins this past weekend in Phoenix.

After weather postponed the final round of the Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., two weeks ago, team owner and 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force won the rescheduled and relocated concluding round at Firebird Motorsports Park as part of the NHRA Arizona Nationals weekend. It was the 156th national event win for Force, the winningest driver in NHRA history.

Also celebrating in the Winner’s Circle at Phoenix was Austin Prock, who won in just his third NHRA start in a Funny Car.

“Clinching the victory in Pomona (Phoenix) was thrilling,” said Force, driver of the PEAK Antifreeze & Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car. “It’s still early in the season, but this win sets a positive tone we’re all proud of. Yet, we’re mindful of the fierce competition out there; we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

While Force has three 4-Wide wins overall (all at Charlotte), the most of any Funny Car driver, he is still in pursuit of his first 4-Wide win in Las Vegas. In five previous 4-Wide races there, Force has won in the first round each time, but failed to advance past the second/semifinal round.

However, Force does have six wins (and two additional runners-up) at The Strip, all in traditional two-lane competition.

As for Prock, he earned No. 1 qualifying honors and also reached the final round, both for the second time in the season’s first three races. It was also the third consecutive win at Arizona for the Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car, as Robert Hight won there in 2022 and 2023.

Now it’s on to Las Vegas for Prock.

“I’m excited to go to Vegas,” Prock said. “I always love going there and it’s a beautiful facility. I’ve always wanted to get a win there. We’ve got some good mojo, so hopefully we can take advantage.”

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Although the win was Prock’s first in a Funny Car, he has four other victories while previously driving a Top Fuel dragster for John Force Racing between 2019 and 2023, including winning the four-wide race last year in Charlotte on the same day that Robert Hight won in Funny Car.

“I’m getting more comfortable every lap, but every time you think you’re comfortable, this thing does something crazy to you,” Prock said. “Every time you think you have a handle on it, you don’t and that’s what makes this category so tough. You’ve got to drive off your gut and instinct. Your car is talking to you the whole time you’re on the gas. These cars are no joke and these are the hardest cars I’ve ever driven.”

Prock comes into this weekend’s event in second place in the NHRA Funny Car standings, just two points out of first. John Force is third in the standings.

The last time JFR started a race with two Funny Cars in the Top 3 was Nov. 3, 2019 entering the Nevada Nationals (the fall race at LVMS) when Robert Hight was No. 1 and John Force No. 2. 

As for Brittany Force, while she qualified No. 2 at Phoenix (after qualifying No. 1 at Pomona), she lost traction that led to her first-round loss in the Valley of the Sun. The two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion looks to defend last year’s No. 1 qualifier at Las Vegas and return to the Winner’s Circle there, as she did in the 2022 edition of the 4-Wide.

“Starting off strong in Phoenix, we secured a second-place qualification and consistently made good runs,” Force said. “Unfortunately, our fortune shifted on race day when we were eliminated in the first round due to driving into smoke.”

Brittany is one of three active Top Fuel drivers (along with Steve Torrence and Antron Brown) to have won four-wide races at both Charlotte (2016) and Las Vegas (2022). She is the track record holder at The Strip at LVMS, 3.652 seconds on Nov. 3, 2019 and 338.17 mph on Nov. 1, 2019.

Force has been in the final quad three of the last four times the race has been run (there was no four-wide race in 2020) and overall, in the five previous four-wide races at LVNS, she has qualified no worse than No. 3. Brittany is 1-2 in the final of the 4-Wide Nationals at LVMS, having won in 2022.

In addition to her four-wide win in 2022, Brittany has two wins (2019 and 2022), one runner-up and three No. 1 qualifiers in the traditional two-lane fall race at Las Vegas.

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Brittany remained in Phoenix to test on Monday, which she hopes will give her dragster an advantage in Las Vegas.

“Vegas is a place we’ve had success in the past and we’re eager to return,” the younger Force said. “The four-wide format there will definitely mix things up, but I believe the testing in Phoenix will have us well-prepared.”


John Force and Austin Prock will both take part in this weekend’s edition of the season-long Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. Both rounds of the Challenge will take place during Saturday’s two rounds of pro qualifying.

Force and Prock will square off against each other along with Funny Car points leader J.R. Todd and Dan Wilkerson in one quad segment of the Challenge, while the other quad features Alexis DeJoria, Cruz Pedregon, Paul Lee and Blake Alexander.

This story was originally published on April 11, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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