Austin Prock Looks to Carry Funny Car Hot Streak into Richmond at PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals

240617 PlayNHRA named title sponsor of Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park [678]

DINWIDDIE, VA – June 20, 2024 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Austin Prock was in a Top Fuel dragster two years ago at Virginia Motorsports Park, but at this weekend’s PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals he’ll be looking for his third Funny Car win of the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season.

Prock, driver of the 11,000-horsepower Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro SS, is new to the Funny Car class this season, but his predecessor, Robert Hight, won at Virginia Motorsports Park in 2022, the last time NHRA raced in Richmond. Prock has already seen success in the Funny Car class as he has two wins on the season, including most recently in Bristol, and has been the No. 1 qualifier at six of the first eight races en route to the points lead.

That gives the young standout and former NHRA Rookie of the Year plenty of momentum heading into his Funny Car debut at the standout facility.

“Richmond is one of the flattest tracks on the circuit which will be much appreciated by the tuners with this weekend’s temperatures,” Prock said. “I always say I never like an off weekend and I’m excited to get back into my Cornwell Quality Tools Camaro SS and get back in the groove of things. We’re looking for another strong weekend.”

Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Hight (Funny Car) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all won in Richmond in 2022 and this year’s event will again be broadcast on FS1, including eliminations at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 23. It is the ninth of 20 races during the 2024 NHRA season.

New this year at the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals is a two-day schedule for the Mission Foods Drag Racing Series. Teams will have three rounds of qualifying on Saturday with race day on Sunday and the unique format will have teams forming new strategies for the weekend.

Prock is also part of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge on Saturday, which makes its Virginia Motorsports Park debut this weekend. The bonus race adds a bonus purse and bonus championship points, and makes for a busy Saturday leading into eliminations.

Prock will meet up with defending world champ and Virginia native Matt Hagan while John Force will rematch with J.R. Todd. The Top Fuel ranks will see Bristol winner Tony Schumacher against Clay Millican and reigning champion Doug Kalitta taking on B. Force. The Pro Stock class will be a rematch of teammates with Elite Motorsports’ Erica Enders and Jeg Coughlin on one side of the ladder and KB Titan Racing’s Greg Anderson and Dallas Glenn on the other. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Gaige Herrera will take on M. Smith while Jianna Evaristo will race Richard Gadson.

In Bristol, Prock swept the entire weekend, qualifying No. 1, winning the specialty event and then the race on Saturday. He’ll get a chance to do that again this weekend, taking on a class that also features Bob Tasca III, Alexis DeJoria and Ron Capps, with everything taking place over the course of two days.

“I’m excited to get to Richmond,” Prock said. “We’ve got a two-day show this weekend with three qualifying passes on Saturday and our race day on Sunday. It will be interesting to see how the fans and competitors take in the new format.”

B. Force is seeking her first Top Fuel win of the season and hopes Virginia Motorsports Park will be the turning point for her season. Kalitta currently leads the Top Fuel points with Justin Ashley behind him in second. Gainesville and Phoenix winner Shawn Langdon, as well as multi-time champs Steve Torrence and Antron Brown are also in the mix.

Returning to Virginia in 2024 is Pro Stock, which is led by points leader Dallas Glenn. There’s a host of standout competitors, including reigning and six-time world champ Enders, and five-time champs Anderson and Bristol winner Coughlin.

Former Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Smith will be seeking another win from Virginia Motorsports Park. Last year saw the reign of current champion Herrera. He won 11 races last year and is undefeated so far in 2024, racing to four wins. Others to watch include Chase Van Sant and Angie Smith.

Back in Richmond will be the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+, as well as the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, the Pingel NHRA Top Fuel Motorcycle Series and Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Mountain Motor Pro Stock.

Fans will also be invited all weekend long to the Nitro Alley Stage, which is the main entertainment hub in the pits, hosting Nitro School, meet and greets, music and much more. Race fans at VMP can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan favorite SealMaster Track Walk. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the event winners.

As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Richmond. This opportunity gives fans a unique chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and more. Fans can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series qualifying features three rounds of action on Saturday, June 22 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. ET, with eliminations beginning at 12 p.m. on Sunday, June 23. Television coverage includes qualifying action at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. Finals coverage starts at 5 p.m. on Sunday on FS1.

To purchase tickets to the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals on June 21-23 at Virginia Motorsports Park, visit https://nhra.com/tickets. All children 12 and under will be admitted free in the general admission area with a paid adult. For more information about NHRA, including the full 2024 schedule, visit www.NHRA.com.

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About Mission Foods

MISSION®, owned by GRUMA, S.A.B. de C.V., is the world’s leading brand for tortillas and wraps. MISSION® is also globally renowned for flatbreads, dips, salsas and Mexican food products. With presence in over 112 countries, MISSION® products are suited to the lifestyles and the local tastes of each country. With innovation and customer needs in mind, MISSION® focuses on the highest quality, authentic flavors, and providing healthy options that families and friends can enjoy together. For more information, please visit https://www.missionfoods.com/

About NHRA

NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 20 national events featuring the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, as well as the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+, NHRA Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown™, NHRA Holley EFI Factory X and Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage NHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock at select national events. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and NHRA Street Legal™. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street® program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League® for youth ages 5 to 17. With 110 Member Tracks, NHRA allows racers to compete at a variety of locations nationally and internationally. NHRA’s Youth and Education Services® (YES) Program reaches over 30,000 students annually to ignite their interest in automotive and racing related careers. NHRA’s streaming service, NHRA.tv®, allows fans to view all NHRA national events as well as exclusive features of the sport. In addition, NHRA owns and operates three racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park; and In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip in Southern California. For more information, log on to www.NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Source: National Hot Rod Association

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series

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