Story By: SARA SLAUGHTER / JOHN FORCE RACING – READING, PA – Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet dragster team will be looking for some of that same magic they found last year as they enter this weekend’s Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway and the start of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship.
Prock is the defending champion at Maple Grove Raceway, an event he won last year from the No. 4 starting position and in which he beat Steve Torrence, Antron Brown and Justin Ashley, the top three starters in this year’s playoffs, in the final three rounds. Prock starts the Countdown from the No. 7 position, that’s five better than he started a year ago when he finished third, equaling the most positions gained in the history of the playoffs, matching Robert Hight’s jump from 10th to first in 2009.
“There’s no better feeling than coming into a race as the defending champ, especially when it’s the first race of the Countdown. I’m looking forward to Friday and getting odd on a good foot at Maple Grove Raceway,” Prock said. “We had another successful pre-Countdown test session in Indy and I believe it will show this weekend. We’re focused and ready to make another championship run with this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team.”
Prock earned the only Top Fuel win this season for John Force Racing when he doubled up alongside Robert Hight at the Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte. It was Prock and Hight who also doubled up last season at Maple Grove. This season, the Montana Brand team also made it to the finals of the Winternationals and earned a No. 1 qualifying position at the Sonoma Nationals
Competition at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway begins with qualifying Friday at 3 and 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Eliminations will be run Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Television coverage of the first of six NHRA Countdown to the Championship events begins with qualifying shows Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). Eliminations will be covered by FOX Broadcasting Network with shows Sunday at either 4:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. ET, check your local listings.