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As Point Leader, Prock Has a Different View at Bristol

Gary Nastase/Auto Imagery photo

Returning to a track on which he reached the semifinals a year ago, Mission Foods point leader Austin Prock will have a very different point of view this week when he sends the Cornwell Tools Chevy Camaro SS after the Funny Car title in the 23rd Super Grip Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

Last year, the 28-year-old had an unobstructed view of the track’s distinctive and massive spectator grandstand from the cockpit of a rear-engine Top Fuel dragster. This year, he’ll find it difficult to see much of anything beyond the injector atop the 12,000 horsepower racing engine that has carried him to four final rounds, five No. 1 qualifiers and victories in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Phoenix and the $250,000 PRO Superstar Shootout at Bradenton, Fla.

Runner-up last week at Epping, N.H., to boss and teammate John Force, the third generation drag racer is one who appreciates the challenges presented by a track that sits at 1,475 feet above sea level.

“Coming to Bristol, we’re back in black with Cornwell Tools and with some momentum,” Prock said. “I’ve always enjoyed coming to Bristol. It’s a very challenging track from a tuning and driving standpoint so, if you get it done there, you really earned it.

“The conditions look favorable and I’m looking forward to getting back in the seat,” said the driver who is racing this year with his dad, Jimmy, crew chief on the Cornwell Camaro, and brother Thomas, the No. 2. “I love these back-to-back races. Let’s see if we can do one spot better this weekend (than last).”

Prock, who began his career successfully racing midgets and sprint cars on asphalt and dirt ovals (he was the 2014 STARS National Midget Champion on pavement), will benefit greatly this week from his dad’s straight line expertise.

After all, he is driving basically the same JFR Camaro that was the No. 1 qualifier the last two years with JFR president Robert Hight in the harnesses.

This story was originally published on June 5, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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