Story By: SARA SLAUGHTER / JOHN FORCE RACING – POMONA, CA – Coming off a second place finish for the 2021 NHRA Camping World championship, Brittany Force and the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac Top Fuel dragster team have some unfinished business as they head to the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Crew chiefs David Grubnic and Mac Savage took full advantage of testing at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park just outside of Phoenix. They tested various engine combinations looking to add to the performance they had in 2021. With nine planned shutoff attempts that showed quality early numbers including .816-seconds at 60 ft. and 2.075 at 330 ft, the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team are sure to be championship frontrunners.
“There’s a lot of momentum going into this season. We got to put a number two on our car. That number two, I’m very proud of that,” said Force. “This Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team worked hard to get there – it wasn’t easy. Based off how we did last season, we feel good coming into this season. We have a strong team, strong car. We have two new additions to the team, and out at testing, they’ve done great, so I’m excited to see what we can do.”
Force has been the No. 1 qualifier each of the last two years at the Winternationals event and is the track record holder for speed at 336.23 mph (Feb. 9, 2020). She is trying this year to become the fifth different John Force Racing team driver to win the season-opener after her dad John Force, her sister Courtney, Robert Hight and Tony Pedregon. Force is competing for her first win at the season opener but has a notable win at the season-ending Auto Club Finals at Pomona from 2017, her championship year.
“I’m excited to be back at Pomona. The off-season went by quick, but that’s what we want,” Force said. “We’re ready to get back out there with our team and our car doing what we love. And we’re hoping to start the season strong – chase down that number one qualifier and go out on race day, go some rounds and win this thing.”
AUSTIN PROCK AND MONTANA BRAND / RMT READY TO MAKE A STATEMENT AT NHRA WINTERNATIONALS
The wait is finally over for Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist Top Fuel dragster team. Prock heads to the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona more experienced, more confident and eager to put his mark on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Fuel category.
Making his return with new crew chief duo Joe Barlam and Rahn Tobler, Prock heads to the season opening Winternationals after a successful test session at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park just outside of Phoenix. The 2019 rookie of the year had an impressive final day of testing with a 3.73-second pass at 327 mph in the heat followed by a stout 3.685 at 333.66 mph in the afternoon under slightly cooler conditions.
“We had some bugs to work out in testing with new crew chiefs, new crew and obviously I sat out almost two years,” said Prock. “After Saturday’s runs, I’m looking forward to Pomona. We made two really solid passes, everyone did a really great job. Huge thanks to Joe Barlam and Rahn Tobler for working hard and all my crew guys; they’ve busted their ass for about four weeks working every day with long nights.”
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona is one of the few tracks Prock has more experience at. He made his professional drag racing career debut and picked up his first-round win at the facility in 2019 and then in 2020, before the pandemic hit, Prock raced his way to the final round.
“Headed into Pomona, I’m really looking forward to it. This is probably my favorite track on the circuit just because of all the history there and that’s where I got my start as well,” said Prock. “I’m definitely rolling in there with a lot more laps under my belt and good passes. I’m really looking forward to rolling in there and seeing what we can do. I think we’ve got a great shot at going for a win in Pomona and all year long. We put a great team together and have excellent crew chiefs, and as long as I can drive good, I think we’ll be going for some Wallys quite often.”
Qualifying at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona begin Friday with a session at 4:30 p.m. before continuing Saturday with sessions at 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. Eliminations are slated to start Sunday at 11 a.m. Television coverage of the season opening event will be aired on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and begin with two qualifying shows, Friday at 10 p.m. ET and Sunday at 7 a.m. ET, while eliminations will be on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.