POMONA, Calif. – Persistent rain forced NHRA officials to postpone final eliminations for the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway until Monday.
Prior to the weather moving in, six pairs of Top Fuel cars made it down the track during the opening round of eliminations, with rookie Austin Prock serving as the highlight by winning in his first ever final-elimination pass.
Prock battled a bit of tire shake in his Montana Brand dragster, but powered to a 4.029-second pass at 312.21 mph to defeat teammate Brittany Force, who ran a losing 5.851 at 112.72.
“I’m still speechless. I can’t believe how well this weekend has gone so far. My team is doing a great job and I’m really happy that Montana Brand and Rocky Mountain Twist came on board to help make this dream of mine come true,” Prock said. “We did it in style this morning. That was the first time I’d ever pedaled a race car. It just seemed like instinct for me. I watched Billy (Torrence) do it two pairs in front of me so I knew I had to be ready for it. I was and we got the job done.
“The chutes didn’t come out. I hit the lever and the cable was about a 16th of an inch from getting the chutes out. I got it stopped, though, so that was good.”
Defending Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence ran his unbeaten streak to 25-straight rounds of racing after beating a slowing Steve Faria. Billy Torrence, Leah Pritchett, Terry McMillen and Doug Kalitta also picked up opening-round wins among the nitro dragster field.
The eventual postponement followed a day of lengthy rain delays. Officials worked during the course of the day to dry the track, but intermittent and steady rains forced the action to be called.
Racing will resume at 10 a.m. PT on Monday, with Top Fuel taking the track to start the day to complete their first round of eliminations before the remaining divisions hit the track.