Funny Car Rookie Trails Leader by Just 14 Points as Tour Moves to New England

Source: Gary Nastase/Auto Imagery

Six races into his NHRA Funny Car career, Austin Prock has an opportunity to achieve something that thus far has eluded Robert Hight, the three-time NHRA World Champion for whom he so capably is driving the AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS this season.

With his dad Jimmy and brother Thomas making the tune-up decisions on the national record-holding “Prock Rocket” Chevrolet, the 28-year-old phenom is poised this week to win the 11th NHRA New England Nationals, the only race in the Mission Foods series in which Hight has not yet hoisted the trophy.

Although he set the current track records for time and speed (3.822 seconds at 336.74 miles per hour) as the driving half of one of the most successful collaborations in NHRA history, Hight was denied in his only two final round appearances at New England Dragway (2021 and 2022).

Prock hopes to take that same team one step further this week and, in the process, regain the Funny Car points lead for John Force Racing, Inc. He’ll start Friday in second place, trailing Matt Hagan by a scant 14 points while leading boss and teammate John Force, driver of the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Camaro, by 36.

“I’m looking forward to Epping and being back with our AAA family again,” said the man who last year drove a Top Fuel dragster as teammate to two-time world champion Brittany Force, driver of the JFR-prepped Monster Energy Top Fuel Chevrolet. “It’s an honor to sport the colors of the car that I cheered on for so many years of my life. We slipped back a few points from the lead in Chicago, but we’re all up for the challenge to get it back this weekend.”

A professionally trained chef, the versatile Prock already has shown that he’s comfortable in even the brightest spotlight. In three full seasons in Top Fuel, he won five times, started from the No. 1 qualifying position on seven occasions and, in 2022, finished third in points. 

His transition to Funny Car has been surprisingly seamless. In his first competitive appearance in a JFR Camaro, he won the $250,000 top prize in the inaugural PRO Superstar Shootout at Bradenton, Fla. He followed up by posting the second quickest time in the last seven seasons (3.820 seconds) as the No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla., and applied an exclamation point with his first Mission Foods tour Funny Car victory in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Phoenix.  

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Friday, May 31 

Nitro qualifying at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., EDT

Saturday, June 1

Nitro qualifying at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., EDT

Mission 2Fast/2Tasty Challenge: John Force and the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet versus Daniel Wilkerson, 1 p.m., EDT

Sunday, June 2

First round eliminations, 11 a.m., EDT


Friday, May 31

Qualifying show, 7:30 p.m. EDT

Saturday, June 1

Qualifying show, 7 p.m. EDT

Saturday, June 1

Finals Challenge, 8 p.m. EDT

Sunday, June 2

First round coverage only, 1 p.m. EDT

Sunday, June 2

Wrap-up show, 7 p.m. EDT


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