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Kalitta, Prock and Enders Appear on Cover of Drag Illustrated’s New PRO Superstar Shootout Issue

Luke Nieuwhof photo

Doug Kalitta, Austin Prock, and Erica Enders, winners of the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage, are the cover stars of Drag Illustrated’s March/April Issue, which offers an extensive look back at the inaugural event. The PRO Superstar Shootout Issue features interviews with the top performers and participants in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and sportsman classes that competed for more than $1.3 million at Bradenton Motorsports Park. The digital edition is out now, while print copies will hit mailboxes in mid-April. 

“The PRO Superstar Shootout represents a monumental achievement not just for Drag Illustrated, but for the entire drag racing community,” said Wes Buck, Founder and Editorial Director, Drag Illustrated. “Seeing Doug Kalitta, Austin Prock, and Erica Enders gracing the cover of our latest issue is a testament to the hard work, passion, and relentless pursuit of excellence that embodies our sport. This event, and the stories that emerged from it, showcase the sheer talent and dedication that run rampant in our racing family. I’m proud of our team’s ability to capture the essence of these historic moments and share them with the world. This issue immortalizes a pivotal point in drag racing history, and I’m thrilled to present it to our readers and the wider motorsport audience. It’s a reminder of the vibrant, dynamic, and endlessly fascinating world of drag racing, and a clear signal that we’re just getting started.”

With three pro-class winners at the PRO Superstar Shootout, there are three cover stories in the special issue. Kalitta, who won his first NHRA Top Fuel world championship in 2023, joins crew chief and Professional Racers Owners Organization (PRO) President Alan Johnson to talk about the group’s success at Bradenton. Prock, who won in his Funny Car debut filling in for John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight, shares the meaning behind succeeding with his family-based team. Finally, six-time and reigning NHRA Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders dishes on her Elite Motorsports team’s contributions on and off the track at the PRO Superstar Shootout. 

“Being involved in the creation and execution of the inaugural PRO Superstar Shootout was a true honor and career highlight,” said Mike Carpenter, COO and Design/Production Director, Drag Illustrated. “I’m also extremely proud that we are able to revisit the event with the permanence of print, and capture a moment in drag racing history as only Drag Illustrated can.”

The PRO Superstar Shootout section also features commentary from standouts like runner-up finishers Clay Millican, Matt Hagan, and Dave Connolly; record setter Bob Tasca III; Top Fuel vs. Funny Car winner Chad Green; sportsman winners Darian Boesch, Matt Dadas, and Monty Bogan Jr., and more. 

“DI’s involvement in this one-of-a-kind race gave us a unique opportunity to tell the stories of this event from the inside,” said Nate Van Wagnen, Editor-in-Chief, Drag Illustrated. “In between drawing poker chips with racers, hosting Q&As and autograph sessions, and generally jumping in to help wherever needed, the DI team was interviewing drivers, crew chiefs, and event organizers for stories that would eventually appear in this issue. Those stories are complemented by incredible photography by some of the best photographers in the business. This issue, like the race itself, was a labor of love for our team, and we’re proud to share it with readers around the world.”

Outside of PRO Superstar Shootout coverage, DI #187 includes features on early-season events like the U.S. Street Nationals and Sick Week, season previews for the NHRA Pro Mod, PDRA, NEOPMA, and MWDRS, and tributes to late racing personalities like Jim Turner, Nathan Vanbeek, and Ryan Young. 

Readers can view the entire PRO Superstar Shootout Issue for free at

This story was originally published on April 10, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.