Story By: SARA SLAUGHTER / JOHN FORCE RACING – EPPING, NH – Brittany Force and the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac dragster team have started the 2022 season making quite the statement.
They’ll enter this weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway with the Camping World Drag Racing Series points lead, a solid 81 ahead of second place.
Force and her Monster Energy team are off to the best start of her career with three wins in the first seven events and a 15-4 individual record. The 2017 world champion raced to a dominant victory at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and then had a close to flawless performance at Houston Raceway Park for a win that would give the David Grubnic and Mac Savage led team the Camping World Series points lead. That lead was solidified with a stellar performance at the return of the Virginia NHRA Nationals just two weeks ago.
“Our Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team heads to Epping coming off a win in Virginia. We’re ahead of ourselves this season with three wins under our belt already. We’re hoping for another New England win,” Force said. “We’re all on the same page and really pulling together as a team and it’s showing on the race track. Our momentum is good, our energy is in the right place, and we’re pumped to get to the track this weekend.”
Force won the New England Nationals in 2017 from the No. 2 starting position. The event is one of only four races in which Force has yet to start from the No. 1 qualifying position (the others are St. Louis, Seattle and Las Vegas1). New England Dragway is also one of four tracks currently hosting Camping World tour events on which Force and the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team has not set the current track record for either ET or speed. Currently, Force is the ET record holder at 11 of the 17 and the speed record holder at nine.
AUSTIN PROCK HAS SIGHTS SET ON VICTORY AT NEW ENGLAND DRAGWAY
Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragster team head to New England Dragway for the NHRA New England Nationals filled with confidence coming off one of their strongest performances of the 2022 Camping World Series season at the NHRA Virginia Nationals that included a career best elapsed time.
Making just his second driver appearance in the NHRA New England Nationals, Austin Prock had a stout performance at the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Richmond in which he qualified No. 2 behind teammate Brittany Force and posted the quickest time of his Top Fuel career (3.672 seconds) before exiting in the semifinals. Prock had a first-round exit to multi-time reigning champion Steve Torrence in his rookie 2019 season but, in 2021, Prock would make it to the finals as a crew member of Robert Hight’s AAA Northern New England Chevy team, led by his father crew chief Jimmy Prock.
“I’m excited to get this weekend kicked off. The two-week break has seemed like an eternity,” Prock said. “New England Dragway has a lot of history so I’m amped up to be back in the seat of my Montana Brand / RMT dragster and working with my guys. We’re really starting to hit our strides. I think our package will have a good shot at winning the New England Nationals. Last year I went to the final as a crew guy, so maybe we can better that by one as a driver.”
The Montana Brand / RMT dragster, prepared by crew chiefs Joe Barlam and Rahn Tobler has been edging up the points standings. Prock is sitting fifth in points having jumped from seventh after his performance at Virginia Motorsports Park. Prock is bidding for his second career victory (he won at Seattle in 2019 alongside boss John Force) and his second trip to the final round this season, he had a runner-up finish at the season opening Winternationals.
ROBERT HIGHT HOPING FOR MORE REASONS TO CELEBRATE
Robert Hight and the AAA New England Chevrolet Camaro SS team are headed to the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway with the sweet smell of victory still strong after winning two weeks ago at the Virginia NHRA Nationals. The three-time championship team is hungry for more as they chase down their first win at the New Hampshire facility.
The current national record holder for Funny Car time (3.793 in 2017 at Brainerd, Minn.) and speed (339.87 mph in 2017 at Sonoma, Calif.), Hight is also the track record holder at New England Dragway where he stopped the timers in 3.822-seconds at 336.74 mph on June 3, 2017, on the way to one of his two No. 1 starts (the other came in 2014). The New England Nationals is one of only two events in the series in which Hight has yet to hoist the winner’s trophy, the upcoming Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Norwalk, Ohio is the other. Hight had his best career result last season when he was runner-up to teammate John Force in a classic final.
“It’s been a long two weeks since winning in Virginia. I’m glad we got to spend the time celebrating but I’m ready to get back into my AAA Chevy,” Hight said. “When you’re on a roll, you want to carry that momentum over and just keep going. I’m hoping we can do that heading to Epping. I’ve never won there so I’d like to check that off my list. With two weeks away from a race track, I know this AAA team is ready to get back to it.”
With a win in New England, Hight could take over the Camping World points lead, he enters the New England Nationals in second place just 15 points behind Matt Hagan after winning three of the season’s first seven events. His victories included two consecutive wins to open the season at the Winternationals and Arizona Nationals as well as the most recent event, the Virginia NHRA Nationals, just two weeks ago.
JOHN FORCE LOOKING TO REPEAT HISTORY AT NHRA NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS
John Force and the PEAK / BlueDEF PLATINUM Chevrolet Camaro SS team enter this weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway as the defending event champions. Already with a win in the 2022 season, Force and company will be looking to repeat their success while solidifying their spot amongst the top five in the Camping World Series points standings.
In 2021, John Force handled his PEAK / BlueDEF Chevy to victory over teammate Robert Hight’s AAA Camaro. Much like this year, the win would come after collecting the Wally at the Charlotte Four-Wide. Force has also won the NHRA New England Nationals in 2015 and his lone No. 1 start in the Northeast’s premier event came in the inaugural race in 2013, where he finished runner-up to daughter Courtney Force.
“Love being in New Hampshire. It’s a great place to race. Epping has been good to me in the past. Winning there last year in front of those great fans, they really do come from all over to see us, it was a great feeling,” Force said. “I’m excited to be going back to New England Dragway, to be back in the seat of my PEAK Chevy. Two weeks off has been painful, time to go to work and get this BlueDEF Camaro in another winners circle.”
Coming off a victory just two weeks ago in Charlotte that extended to 34 the number of seasons in which he has won at least one NHRA tour event, Force is trying to win multiple events for the 27th season in hs career. Coming into the NHRA New England Nationals, the 16-time Funny Car champion sits fourth in the points standings behind multi-time champions Ron Capps, Robert Hight, and leader Matt Hagan.
Race action at New England Dragway for the NHRA New England Nationals begins Friday with a single qualifying session at 6:30 p.m. and continues Saturday with sessions at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eliminations will take place Sunday at 11 a.m. Television coverage of the event will be on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) starting with qualifying shows Friday at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. Eliminations will air Sunday at 7 p.m.