NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


Austin Prock hopeful recent momentum leads to New England Nationals win

04 Jun 2022
Josh Hachat

It’s just the eighth race for a team that doesn’t have much time together yet, but it hasn’t stopped Top Fuel’s Austin Prock from seeing the immense potential in his team.

That’s only been emboldened at this weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway, where Prock put together a strong first qualifying run, even while suffering through a big fireball late in the run.

He still ran a 3.749 at 293.22 mph, putting him sixth in the loaded Top Fuel field heading into the final session, and there’s plenty left to spare in front of the weekend's sellout crowd.

It has Prock feeling good that his first win of the 2021 season could come on Sunday at a track where his grandfather raced in the 1970s.

Asked where the confidence comes from, Prock quickly had several reasons come to mind.

“It comes from the success we’ve had the last few races and seeing how hard this team works,” Prock said. “We’re all aligning perfectly and I think this can be our weekend. It’s really been great watching the growth of this team. It would be really cool to get a win here. We’ve got a lot of racing family and friends here to get a win here would mean a lot to me.”

A victory anywhere would certainly be worthwhile for the 2019 NHRA Rookie of the Year. He picked up a win in Seattle during that rookie campaign and returning to action this year, Prock is eager to get another, even with a team that’s still coming together.

But the group, led by Joe Barlam and Rahn Tobler, has come together quickly and it’s only motivated Prock even more. 

He dipped into the 3.60s at the most recent race in Richmond — momentarily setting the track record — and advanced to the semifinals with a strong showing. Currently fifth in points, Prock is hopeful the team can build on that this weekend in his 11,000-horsepower Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist dragster.

“I think we’re getting really close to having a top-three car every time we go up there,” Prock said. “The car was wounded at 330 yesterday, shut off at 800, and still ran (3.749). It was going to be a really nice run. I thought we had the car to beat in Richmond. The only thing missing is the amount of runs. When it goes, it’s shown it’s really fast. How we’re running, it’s given me a lot of confidence.”

Coupled with a final-round showing to start the season in Pomona, Prock’s season has already been filled with a number of impressive moments. But he’s eager for a win and New England Dragway might just be the perfect setting to set up his possible championship run later in the year.

“I’m really happy with where we’re at, especially this early in the season,” Prock said. “I’m confident we’re going to be able to contend for a championship.”