Team Force was able to “double up” by winning both Top Fuel and Funny Car during weekend action in Seattle.
In Top Fuel, rookie sensation Austin Prock, son of Robert Hight crew chief Jimmy Prock, collected his first career NHRA National event win by defeating the nearly invincible Steve Torrence in the final round. Torrence lost traction, allowing Prock to charge to a 3.875 at 307.86 mph win. Both drivers had uncharacteristically poor reaction times, as Torrence inadvertently lit both the pre-stage and staged bulbs at the same time, throwing both drivers off. Prock had a 0.275 reaction time, while Torrence had a 0.138 second reaction time. Prock’s first career win added icing to the cake as his team patriarch, John Force, finally achieved that 150 career event win. Force’s last win (#149) occurred at the 2018 Denver event. This past weekend, he defeated Ron Capps in the final round (3.971 at 320.58 mph to 4.018 at 309.91 mph) to put his Peak Chevrolet Camaro into the winner’s circle.
Force’s interviews following the historic win were classic John Force, getting the fans excited, as he explained how important and relieved he was to get that 150th career victory and get the “monkey off his back.” During his interview on live TV, Force was totally animated with excitement. Instead of staying around for the usual trophy photos for television, he got on his scooter and rode back up the track to greet the fans. He then ran across the track and climbed over the fence, to gain access to the grandstands, so he could celebrate with all the fans. Needless to say, the fans were ecstatic.
As Force put it, it was the fans that gave him the drive and his team that gave him the support and a great race car that he needed. The big question now is if this 150th career event win can provide the catalyst he needs to go after his 17th NHRA World Championship. Force has now clinched a spot in the six-race ‘Countdown to the Championship.’
In Pro Stock, Greg Anderson, who hadn’t won an event all season until Denver and Sonoma, was on the cusp of sweeping the “Western Swing” by winning all three of the races. But that all came to a halt as Matt Hartford defeat him in the final round. Hartford used a 0.023 to 0.054 second reaction time advantage to take a holeshot win, collecting his second career NHRA National event victory.
The next stop on the NHRA Mello Yello drag racing series is in Brainerd, Minnesota in two weeks. After that event, it is the Indy Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indy is the final regular season race before the six-event Countdown to the Championship. Only 10 drivers in each professional category are eligible to battle for the championship and Indy is the last race to determine who those 10 drivers will be for this season.