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Austin Prock Scores Runner-Up Finish at Texas NHRA FallNationals

Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet dragster team capped off their Texas NHRA FallNationals weekend with a runner-up finish Sunday at Texas Motorplex. Robert Hight and the AAA Texas Chevrolet Camaro SS saw the semifinals while John Force in the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevy and Brittany Force with the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac dragster had second round exits.

After securing the first No. 1 qualifying position of his career, Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / RMT dragster kept their streak of full-pulls down the Texas Motorplex dragstrip with a first-round win over Alex Laughlin. Prock would go 4.736-seconds at 326.23 mph to Laughlin’s 3.837 at 318.83 to set up a second-round match-up with Leah Pruett. Prock would have another solid 3.737 pass at 324.18 despite having a gasket out to better Pruett’s 3.764 at 275.72.

In the semifinals, Prock would line up with Top Fuel veteran and three-time champion Antron Brown. The Joe Barlam and Rahn Tobler tuned Montana Brand dragster would ride to a stout 3.681-second pass at 326.30 mph defeating Brown’s 3.689 at 329.72 mph.

Facing rival and points leader Justin Ashley in the final round, Prock’s streak of clean passes would come to an end. The Montana Brand / RMT dragster would go up in tire smoke at the hit, coasting to a 12.682 at 48.46. Ashley would have no issues going 3.688-seconds at 329.24 mph.

“Outstanding weekend for this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team. We just missed it in the final round and came up short of sweeping the weekend. I was proud of the team, and the crew chiefs. They made progress each and every lap and it showed,” Prock said. “We showed up when we needed to. We’re in good hands for the rest of the season, we’re definitely back and we can’t wait for Vegas.”

Robert Hight and the AAA Texas Chevy leave the Texas NHRA FallNationals maintaining the Funny Car points lead after entering race day in the No. 2 spot and racing to the semifinals. En route, Hight would have a solo run of 3.884-seconds at 330.76 mph in the first round after Jack Wyatt broke on the starting line. Next, Hight would take on Paul Lee who ran 3.968 at 327.15 to Hight’s 3.901 at 326.73. In the semifinals, the AAA Texas Camaro would smoke the tires early for a 7.486 at 91.11 losing to eventual race winner Ron Capps and his 3.897 at 332.84.

“Tough way to go out. This AAA team had been on a great streak of solid A to B passes. Disappointing to get that loss in the semifinals, we wanted to try and grow our points lead but luckily, we did have a lead and we had a good two days of qualifying where we took some points. So, with two races left, we’ll head to Vegas still ahead,” Hight said. “We have to continue to do what we know how to do. Pick up those small points in qualifying and then continue to go rounds on Sunday. Just two races left, we really need to be on our game.”

Brittany Force and the Monster Energy team, who put on a spectacular qualifying show despite starting from No. 3, started their race day with a track speed record run of 336.30 mph and 3.722-seconds to defeat Buddy Hall’s 5.840 at 108.10. Force would see her race day end with a hole shot lost against Shawn Langdon in the second round. Force would have a .097-second time on the tree with a 3.676 pass at 332.96 to Langdon’s .039 reaction time and 3.721 at 328.25.

“There are still two races left in this Countdown to the Championship and weekend to weekend things can change so much,” said Force who is now second in points. “We can pick up points during qualifying, we have been all season. That’s going to remain this Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team’s plan going into Las Vegas, qualify well and go rounds on race day. It’s not over yet. It will end in Pomona at the Auto Club Finals so we’ll keep on fighting.”

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John Force and the PEAK Chevrolet took on Cruz Pedregon in the first round of eliminations. Force would come out on the winning side with a 3.925-second pass at 331.66 and .050-second reaction time to defeat his long-time rival’s 3.902 at 327.70 with a .086 reaction time. In the second round, Force would have a near perfect reaction time at ,003-second but the PEAK Chevy would start to lose traction to go only 4.045 at 293.79 falling short of eventual race winner Ron Capps’ 3.885 at 336.78.

“I’m going to leave here and head into Vegas to win. I never give up. This PEAK Chevy team doesn’t give up. We just don’t have a mindset like that,” Force said. “There wasn’t anything left on the tree; I stole it all. I got away with the light and I was trucking on through there, but it got over into the wall. I had to lift and got back on it, but it was too late. He got around me. We never give up and it’s not over until we say it’s over.”

The battle for NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series championships continues October 28-30 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the NHRA Nevada Nationals.

This story was originally published on October 17, 2022. Drag Illustrated

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