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Automobile Club of Southern California to Sponsor Austin Prock in NHRA Winternationals

Austin Prock will pilot the Automobile Club of Southern California/Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car in this weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip.

Commonly known as “Auto Club,” the organization is celebrating the start of nearly a quarter century partnership with John Force Racing that dates back to 2001. The association is the longest tenured sponsor of JFR.

“I am very excited to debut our Auto Club Camaro in Pomona,” Prock said. “I’ve cheered on this car a majority of my life. It’s surreal that I will be strapping in it in a few days. Auto Club has been a long time partner of John Force Racing and I’m looking forward to representing their brand and all they offer. I’ve got two goals this weekend: get fans to engage with the Auto Club booth in the midway and win the race!”

In addition to this weekend, Auto Club will also sponsor the car in the season-ending In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals (Nov. 14-17), also at Pomona Dragstrip.

“We’re very excited to have John Force Racing and the Auto Club Nitro Funny Car again racing in California,” said Jeff Zacek, Automobile Club of Southern California Vice President of Marketing, Member Research & Publications. “Austin Prock has been doing a phenomenal job subbing for our regular driver, Robert Hight, and we look forward to a great event this weekend.”

A three-time NHRA Funny Car champion, Hight is on a temporary leave of absence from racing for personal medical reasons. His replacement knows he has big shoes to fill, but is up for the challenge.

Prock is off to a great start to the season. In addition to being No. 1 qualifier and finishing runner-up piloting the Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car in the NHRA season-opening Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., two weeks ago. Prock also won a special exhibition race in Bradenton, Fla., last month in his first-ever start in a Funny Car, also with Cornwell Tools on his livery.

“Any time I get in a race car, I just want to do the absolute best job I can,” Prock said. “And more or less, it’s not about proving myself to everyone else, it’s proving myself to myself. I want to be able to get in the car and know I can do a good job and get the result I want.”

The Lansing, Mich., native sits a close second in the NHRA Funny Car standings coming into this weekend’s event.

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“I’m looking forward to Pomona,” Prock said. “I’ve always loved that racetrack. It’s always been my favorite one to hit on the map.”

Founded in 1900, the Automobile Club of Southern California serves over seven million members in several California counties including Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.

It continues to expand and enhance its wide range of services, including membership benefits, insurance, travel services, discounts, financial services, and comprehensive automotive services.

Auto Club is the Southern California affiliate of the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation of motor clubs. AAA will sponsor Prock’s Funny Car in Epping, N.H. (May 31-June 2); Norwalk, Ohio (June 28-30); St. Louis (Sept. 27-29) and Dallas (Oct. 11-13).

The 2024 Mission Foods NHRA Drag Racing Series Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals runs from March 21-24 at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip in Pomona, Calif.

FS1 will televise Qualifying Show No. 1 on Saturday, March 23, from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Qualifying Show No. 2 is Sunday, March 24, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET, and the Finals will also air on Sunday, March 24, from 7 to 10 p.m. ET.

This story was originally published on March 21, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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