John Force Racing Drivers Ready To Tackle Season-Opening NHRA Gatornationals At Gainesville

Story By: SARA SLAUGHTER / JOHN FORCE RACING – GAINESVILLE, FL – Two-time and reigning NHRA Camping World Top Fuel world champion Brittany Force and her Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac Chevrolet Camaro SS team enter this weekend’s Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway with the same intensity that won them the 2022 championship.

“This Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team is pumped coming into the 2023 season after finishing so strong and winning a championship together. We are looking forward to seeing what we can do this season,” Force said. “Last season we had five wins and we want to go beyond that. We want more wins. We’d like to set more track records, but the ultimate game plan is to win another championship for this team.”

Now with a No. 1 emblazoned on the Monster Energy dragster, Force, the only woman other than Shirley Muldowney to have won the series title in NHRA’s signature category, returns to a track forever embedded in her history. Force tallied her first professional win at Gainesville Raceway in 2016 when she doubled up for victory with teammate Robert Hight. It was also the first professional nitro sweep for John Force Racing.

“Gainesville is definitely a special place for me. I’ve been coming here since I was a kid watching my dad and then Ashley race,” Force said. “My first win in a Top Fuel car was here in 2016. Again, it’s a special place, I love it here, it’s the Gatornationals, it’s just a big one. It’s one of the races I remember as a kid that seemed so prestigious. It drew in a huge crowd, and it had so much momentum and excitement behind it. It is one you never want to miss.”

Force set the current Gainesville Raceway track ET record (3.680 seconds on March 15, 2019) when she and Hight were No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the 2019 Gatornationals and set the track speed record (337.75mph) in her most recent appearance (March 12, 2022).

This weekend will also play host to the second annual Pep Boys NHRA All-Star Callout featuring eight of Top Fuel’s most competitive drivers. Force is the top seed and will pick her first-round opponent in a bid to win her first all-star race after finishing runner-up in a final round contested at Indianapolis during the U.S. Nationals after the event was rained out in Gainesville, Fla.

“After coming out early and testing for a total of six days, we’re pretty confident going into this race weekend and we’re excited for it to be two races in one. It’s the Pep Boys All-Star Call Out, it’s going to be fun,” Force said. “I already kind of had a brief discussion with Grubnic on who we are going to call out, so we already have a game plan in mind. We’ll see how it goes. There’s no good team or driver to call. They’re all going to be tough, that’s why we are all up there together, the eight of us. So, either way, it’s going to be tricky but we are ready for the challenge.”



No one closed out the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season with more momentum than Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet dragster team. Jumping from 12th to third in the six-race Countdown to the Championship, Prock and his crew now headed by Chris Cunningham, are looking to continue that momentum as they kick off the 2023 season at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

Prock finished the 2022 season with a pair of victories in the Countdown to the Championship and his first career No. 1 qualifying position. Making his third appearance at the Gatornationals, Prock is hoping to start the 2023 season with the same momentum he had closed out 2022, a double-up victory this weekend would do just that. Prock has the opportunity to snag a Wally Sunday at the Gatornationals and the NHRA Pep Boys All-Star Top Fuel Callout being raced during Saturday qualifying.

“I’m looking forward to the first race of the year. We have a lot going on. We’ve got the Pep-Boys Call Out that we qualified for and there are a lot of good cars in there. It’s a good competition and it’s always fun,” Prock said. “We have a new crew chief team with Chris Cunningham and Joe Barlam and a handful of new guys on the Montana Brand / RMT car. Everybody has been doing a great job and I’m looking forward to seeing how we hash-up against everyone else and to see if we can pick up from where we left off.

Austin is making just his third appearance in the Florida race and while he has yet to advance beyond the first round, Prock has a unique opportunity at the Gatornationals, a race in which he can become the third generation of the Prock family to reach the final round. His dad, Jimmy Prock, crew chief on Robert Hight’s Chevrolet Funny Car, has won the race five times. His grandfather, Tom Prock, was runner-up to Don Prudhomme in the 1975.

“We’ve done some good testing over the past couple weeks. The first test session that we had in Gainesville we ran mid-to-low 60’s just like we did at Pomona,” Prock said. “We changed a bunch of things in the bell housing and clutch discs and it all responded really well. We should be able to go out there and compete for a Wally the first week out.”



Robert Hight, debuting the Flav-R-Pac / Cornwell Tools / AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car, enters the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals with arguably the most motivation in the class. With the No. 2 on the side of his car after a career-best season, Hight will be looking for a repeat of last year with a slight alternative to the ending.

Coming off a career-best eight wins in the 2022 season, Hight held the points lead for 15 of the 22 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing series events including a stint of 12 consecutive before the final race of the season where he missed the championship title by just three points.

“Last year was amazing, it really was. I’m so proud of this team, they worked hard, and they continued to work hard in the off-season. We were all pretty disappointed with how things ended, and it’s been a long couple of months,” Hight said. “We’re more than ready to get back to racing. I can’t wait to be back in the seat of this Chevy Funny Car. Hopefully, things go our way and we get Flav-R-Pac their first Funny Car win.”

A three-time series champion (2009, 2017, 2019) and a Top 8 finisher every year he has contested a championship, Hight has been especially successful at Gainesville Raceway where he has won the Funny Car title four times (2012, 2014, 2016, 2019). Robert qualified No. 1 for the first time in his career at the 2005 Gatornationals and has started from the No. 1 position in 2007, 2019, and 2022.

“The Gatornationals have always been a big race on the schedule. This year, it’s even more prestigious because we’re opening the season here,” Hight said. “That comes with a lot of other stuff, media day and filming. We’ve also got Don Garlits International Drag Racing Hall of Fame this year with John being inducted. It should be fun, I’m looking forward to going and supporting the boss, he deserves this, he’s earned it.”

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