Top Fuel racer Austin Prock is a rookie, but one aspect he’s got some experience in is racing four-wide.
Prock made his four-wide debut in Las Vegas earlier this month and while he enjoyed particpating, the experience of a first-round loss isn’t in his list of greatest accomplishments.
“It’s a little different than I expected, but we caught on and we’re pretty confident heading into this weekend,” said Prock, who is 11th in Top Fuel points. “I like the fact that you can beat three guys at once and you can even beat three guys on a holeshot. For a driver, that gets me pumped to try and leave on three people. That’s a cool part of the race, but this is just something that’s different. It’s exciting to switch things up every once in a while and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Prock’s Top Fuel team, led by crew chiefs Ronnie Thompson and John Schaffer, came together quickly in the off-season and is filled with newcomers, meaning Prock isn’t the only rookie to John Force Racing’s second-ever Top Fuel car. He’s grown right along with them, a process that has made everyone better through the first five races of the 2019 season.
“Working with this team, it really just makes the learning process way shorter for me,” Prock said. “All three of my teammates are world champions. They’ve been there, done that, so if I have any questions I can go to them right off the bat. My ears are always open and that definitely helps. Working with my dad, he’s one of the greatest ever and he’s worked with a lot of talented drivers, so anything he tells me, I’m going to make sure and listen.”
Prock isn’t shy about having big goals, either. With the team around him, he wants to be competing for race wins and No. 1 qualifiers. He has posted three round wins thus far in 2019, including one in Houston, but Prock is ready for more. He takes a great deal of pride in his reaction times and is after a big performance in Charlotte against the likes of defending world champion Torrence, points leader Doug Kalitta, Mike Salinas, Leah Pritchett, Clay Millican and Antron Brown.
“Just because I’m a rookie doesn’t mean we can’t win rounds, set low E.T. or win races,” Prock said. “But it’s super competitive out there. You know you have to go up there and leave on the other guy because it’s always going to be a close race. But we’ve put together a great team and everyone keeps showing a lot of promise.”
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019