Austin Prock Second In Las Vegas 4-Wide Nationals; Widens NHRA Funny Car Point Lead

Story By: JERRY BONKOWSKI / JOHN FORCE RACING – LAS VEGAS, NV – Austin Prock paced John Force Racing by finishing second in Sunday’s final round of Funny Car competition in the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

With team owner John Force failing to advance in the first round, and teammate Brittany Force being eliminated in the Top Fuel semifinals, it was left to Prock to carry the banner for JFR – and that’s just what he did.

Prock has had an outstanding start to the season, reaching the finals in three of the first four races. He finished runner-up in the season-opening race at Gainesville, won his first career NHRA Funny Car race (in just his third-ever start in the class) last week at Phoenix, and now finished runner-up in Las Vegas.

He also won Saturday’s Las Vegas edition of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty competition, a race-within-a-race that takes place in each of the 20 NHRA national events.

Interestingly, in each of his three final round appearances thus far this season, Prock also was No. 1 qualifier in those respective races, as well, making him the fourth driver in NHRA Funny Car annals in the last 25 years to earn No. 1 qualifier in three of a season’s first four races.

“It was almost a perfect weekend,” Prock said. “We got No. 1 qualifier, won the Mission #2Fast2Tasty deal and runner-upped at this deal.”

Prock and his Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car got off to a good start in the final round but couldn’t hold off winner Bob Tasca III.

“We were out front and the engine nosed over, shot a spark plug out downtrack about 650 or 700 feet and the thing just nosed over,” Prock said. “We were still good enough to run second.

“Tasca made a great run, great job by that team. We knew they were going to be tough this year but I think everybody in these pits knows we’re going to be tough this year, as well.”

It was the furthest Prock has ever gone in Las Vegas. His previous best was reaching the semifinals in 2022, while driving a Top Fuel dragster for JFR.

Prock was the quickest (3.916 seconds at 322.58 mph) of the 16 drivers in the first round.

In the semifinals, he reached back for a little bit extra to capture his quad (3.907 seconds/324.75 mph) and advance to the final round against Tasca, Matt Hagan and Ron Capps.

Prock moved into the Funny Car points lead during Saturday’s qualifying and then increased his edge over second-ranked J.R. Todd to 48 points (Prock has 367 points, Todd has 319 points).


In Top Fuel, Brittany Force made her quickest and fastest (3.750 seconds/335.90 mph) pass of the weekend in her first quad, sending her into the semifinals.

The driver of the Monster Energy Top Fuel Dragster was seeking to make her fourth final quad appearance at Las Vegas, as well as potentially add to her win there in 2022.

Unfortunately, the two-time NHRA Top Fuel champ (2017, 2022) fell short in those semis, even though she had a strong run of 3.776 seconds at 331.94 mph.

“Overall, it was a good weekend for our Monster Energy team,” Brittany Force said. “We made big improvements in performance on the racetrack.

“Our car was running with everyone else. We qualified fifth and first round we came out and ran a 3.75, which was outstanding. I was slow on the tree and it cost us in Round 2. It’s tough, I’m beating myself up over it, but this whole team, we take our wins together and our losses together.

“I feel like our race car is definitely coming around. We struggled last year with it and the beginning of this season but now it’s starting to run consistent and starting to put good ETs on the board.”

Force leaves Las Vegas tied for eighth in the Top Fuel points.


As for team owner John Force, he was looking to repeat his record 156th career win from last week at Phoenix, but fell short, losing in Sunday’s first round. The 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ lost traction on his car about halfway down the track, almost going sideways.

Being forced to lift to avoid a tangle with the retaining wall, Force finished with an ET of 4.165 seconds at 257.63 mph, not enough to advance to the semifinal round.

“My car moved around a little bit, I may have corrected it too hard,” Force said. “I got a tire out of the groove, blew a tire off, dropped a hole because it spun and I had my hands full at the other end, but I’m just trying to win.”

While Force, who was No. 2 qualifier behind Prock coming into Sunday’s eliminations, would have liked a better finish for himself and his PEAK Antifreeze & Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car, he was happy with his team’s overall performance.

“Brittany went some rounds, I didn’t, but Prock, being No. 1 runner-up, John Force Racing is strong,” Force said. “We qualified good and now we just move on to the next one.”

Force falls from third to fifth in the Funny Car standings, just seven points out of fourth and 23 points out of third, where he had been ranked heading into this weekend.


Up Next:

The NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series next heads to zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. for the second of two NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 26-28.