BRAINERD, MN — Coming off his first career victory at the recent Northwest Nationals, rookie Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team are hungry for continued success as they enter this weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, the 17th of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Season schedule.
With a resume that already includes a handful of solid passes in the .70s and .80s, a career-best elapsed time of 3.696-seconds and top speed of 334.15 mph and a semifinal finish, Prock added his most impressive achievement to his list when he powered his Mike Green and Ronnie Thompson tuned dragster to a breakthrough victory at Pacific Raceways.
Starting race day from the No. 12 spot, the young driver strung together four solid runs taking out veteran racers Leah Pritchett, Clay Millican and Mike Salinas on his way to the first final round of his career. In the final, Prock launched his hot rod past reigning Top Fuel world champion and current points leader Steve Torrence to take home his first career Wally in a John Force Racing double up as team owner John Force earned his milestone 150th victory.
BRAINERD, MN – Last year’s Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway was quite an adventure for five-time Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. as he was kidnapped by Top Fuel dominator Steve Torrence and FOX TV personality Bruno Massel and taken to the infamous “Brainerd Zoo” campground for an experience that mirrored the Hollywood hit movie “The Hangover.”
Apparently, the party will continue this year, but we’ll have to tune into the Fox broadcast to see the plot play-out as Coughlin, Torrence and Massel returning to the scene of last year’s shenanigans for what’s sure to be another regrettable night with the wild denizens that call BIR home for race week.
“We had a lot of fun filming a segment for FOX TV last year and they tell me we’re going back for more this time through,” Coughlin said. “Of course, it was all a big goof but the piece they put together really gained a lot of attention and actually came out really well. In essence, it’s a reminder to everyone who loves this sport to make sure they always have fun at the races, and trust me the fans at Brainerd know how to have fun.
Brainerd, MN – NHRA Nationals
Jack Beckman returns as the defending Funny Car event champion
The 2018 Brainerd Funny Car final marked the first time the Chandler family’s ‘giving cars,’ piloted by Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr., went head-to-head in the finals
Antron Brown has been to the Brainerd final round the past three years, earning a runner-up finish in 2016, 2017 and 2018
Johnson has competed in the final round three out of the last four years, finishing as the runner-up in 2015, 2017, 2018
Brown has been victorious in both the Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle categories in Brainerd
Matt Hagan recorded the first 3.8 second Funny Car pass during the 2015 Brainerd event (3.879 seconds)
Note: Ron Capps will be on-site at the Baxter Walmart store (7295 Glory Rd. S.) today, August 14, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. CT. The Mello Yello Meet & Greet is free and open to the public.
DSR-Owned Track Records:
Top Fuel E.T.: 3.640 seconds, Leah Pritchett (2017)
BRITTANY FORCE LOOKING TO PUT CARQUEST FILTERS IN THE WINNERS CIRCLE AT BRAINERD INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
BRAINERD, MN — Sitting fourth in the NHRA Mello Yello points standings, Brittany Force and the Carquest Filters Top Fuel dragster team are making their way to the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, eager for another weekend of consistent performance.
Heading to the 17th event on the NHRA Mello Yello tour, Force and the Carquest Filters team have picked up a yellow hat at the SpringNationals, two runner-up finishes at the Four-Wide in Las Vegas and Southern Nationals, a semi-final appearance and have started race day from the top spot four times. The 2017 Top Fuel world champion has also made NHRA history with two of her No. 1 qualifiers this season. At the famed Gatornationals, Force became the first woman since Shirley Muldowney 40 years ago to qualify in the top spot at the event. Success followed at the SpringNationals when she clinched the No. 1 qualifier alongside her father, John Force to make them the first professional parent-child duo to sit as No. 1 qualifiers in NHRA’s history.
At the recent event at Pacific Raceways outside of Seattle, Wash., Force launched her David Grubnic and Mac Savage tuned dragster to 3.702-seconds at 326.87 mph to land the No. 2 qualifying spot. She kept the consistency on race day with two solid passes in the 70s but fell short of advancing to the semifinal.
DALLAS, TX – After a three race hiatus NHRA Pro Stock racer Shane Tucker is ready to get back on track this weekend at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. The young Australian businessman who operates Auzmet Architectural from Dallas, Texas, is bringing a new corporate partner with his Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stock to the famed race track just south of the Canadian border. Joining Auzmet and StructGlass on Tucker’s 200 mph Camaro will be NCMachine.com, a Winnipeg Manitoba based full service machine shop.
“We know that a sizeable group of the fans attending the Lucas Oil Nationals will be from Canada and we saw this as an opportunity to get our name out there,” said Dan Roche, owner and founder of NC Machine and Tool Company. “We have a personal relationship with Shane’s team and we know he is a great competitor. After meeting Shane at the Gatornationals we knew we needed to put something together for the Brainerd NHRA national event.”
ENNIS, TX – The 2nd annual American Jr. Dragster Challenge presented by Capco Contractors wrapped up Saturday with winners in four categories crowned after a grueling day of eliminations. The Texas Motorplex, home of the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals in October, once again played host to the event which benefitted Children’s Health hospital in Dallas. During the race Texas Motorplex general manager Andy Carter along with sales director Terry Smith presented Kyra Barnett from Children’s Health a check for $1,500 and a commemorative event racing helmet.
The category winners included Summit Racing Equipment7.90 class Winner Madison Smith and runner-up Conner Rivers. The Lucas Oil 8.90 class winner was Brody Tigue who outlasted Grant Wiley in the final. Tyler Janousek took top honors in the Snap-on Tools 11.90/13.90 class over Caden Keys. Finally in the Valvoline Instant Oil Changer All Run class Trent Augustyn defeated Braden Bettis to get the win and spectacular eagle trophy.
NORWALK, OH — Robert Hight and the Automobile Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro team continued their winning ways on Saturday, Aug. 10th when they won the 42nd annual Kelly Services Night Under Fire match race at Summit Motorsports Park.
Hight, who competed alongside John Force Racing owner and CEO, John Force, won Night Under Fire for the fourth time when he ran 3.91-seconds to defeat Ron Capps’ 3.96. It marks the fourth consecutive year John Force Racing has taken home the Night Under Fire trophy. John Force won in 2018, Hight won in 2017 and Courtney Force won in 2015. The 2016 event was rained out.
“I always love coming and racing here at Norwalk for Night Under Fire. It’s a good time, there’s always a huge crowd and this match race has been good to John Force Racing,” Hight said. “Bader really does it up right, the entire day is a celebration and the finale with those fireworks? What a way to end it.
“Coming off the Western Swing last week and heading into Brainerd this week, it makes for a solid five weekends of being in the car and I think it’s a good thing,” Hight said. “We keep our momentum, get to test a little bit and keep our focus right before the NHRA Countdown to the Championship.”