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Published: 5/1/2023

Chevrolet Sweeps Pro Classes at Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals

Author: THE BLOCK

Photos: AUTO IMAGERY, INC.

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Chevrolet NHRA teams made zMAX Dragway their playground over the weekend, with the Bowtie scoring wins in Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock in the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at the four-lane drag strip just outside Charlotte.

 

 

John Force Racing was among the headliners of the event as it doubled up in the nitro categories in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Team Chevy drivers Austin Prock and Robert Hight scored wins for JFR in Top Fuel and Funny Car, respectively.

 

Austin Prock scored the Top Fuel win for Team Chevy and JFR at Charlotte.

Prock started the four-wide Sunday eliminations from the seventh position and laid down three passes in the 3.7-second range or better, taking the victory in the final quad with a 3.684-second blast at 330.88 mph. The win was Prock's first of the season and the fourth of his career. It was also the first victory for Chris Cunningham as a lead crew chief and the 20th for Chevrolet in the Top Fuel category.

"It was a great weekend overall," Prock said. "Just like Robert (Hight)'s car, we went down the track all seven runs this weekend. And to rebound like we did after an awful weekend in (the last event in) Vegas, really shows how strong this team is. I never have had much success here in Charlotte and believe I went from pretty much going out every first round to winning it. Super proud of my team and this category is just brutal right now, so they are extra special."

Robert Hight (bottom) and John Force (second from top) both advanced to the final quad in Camaro SS Funny Cars.

Hight meanwhile qualified in the third spot in his Camaro SS and turned in three consistent runs during Sunday eliminations. He turned in in a 3.888-second pass at 328.30 mph in the final quad, but it was his .053 reaction time that got him to the stripe first on a holeshot. The win was Hight's second of the season and 63rd of his career. It was also the three-time champion's seventh victory at zMAX Dragway and the 157th Funny Car win for Chevrolet.

"This is a big weekend for us. The car went down the track in every run and really hats off to the NHRA and the Safety Safari," Hight said in reference to the weather issues that plagued the weekend, including a three-and-a-half-hour rain delay on Sunday afternoon. "They have had challenging conditions all weekend and I know they have worked long, long hours.

"After two first-round losses in a row, we changed the car around. We stayed and tested after the last event in Vegas. (Crew chief Jimmy Prock) felt we got the data we needed despite an ignition problem. So, to come in here and make seven respectable runs, and get down the track every run, that's pretty exciting. When you are up against the group that we had in the final, whoever comes out on top, that is a big deal."

Brittany Force qualified No. 1 at Charlotte with a track record.

The other John Force Racing cars also turned in solid weekends, beginning with Brittany Force's Friday qualifying run which set a track elapsed-time record. Force turned in a 3.651-second blast at 336.32 mph in her Chevrolet Top Fuel dragster, putting her in the No. 1 qualifying spot for the third time this season and 45th time in her career. The two-time and defending category champion bowed out in the semifinal round on Sunday.

Team patriarch and 16-time champion John Force went to Sunday's final round in Funny Car after having won the last two Four-Wide Nationals at the Charlotte track.

Deric Kramer ended a nearly four-year winless drought in his Camaro SS.

 

Chevrolet also came out on top in the Pro Stock category with Deric Kramer taking home his first Wally trophy of the season and the fifth of his career. His last win came at Charlotte in 2019.

Kramer qualified his KB Titan Racing Camaro SS in the eighth position and laid down a 6.550-second lap at 208.88 mph in the final quad to take the 252nd win overall for Camaro in Pro Stock. 

"It's a fun car to drive first and foremost, and that is enough to keep someone out here," Kramer said. "But once you hoist the Wally and you get that feeling, just like (three-time champion) Jason Line told me about my very first win, is that once you do it, you want to win another. When the drought is so long and you think it's never going to happen again, when it finally does, it's euphoria."

Fellow Team Chevy and KB Titan Racing driver Dallas Glenn took home a runner-up finish in Pro Stock after having scored victories in the season's last two events. Glenn's strong showing at Charlotte helped solidify his points lead.

 

Lenny Lottig was the class of the Factory Stock Showdown field in his COPO Camaro.

 

In addition, Lenny Lottig qualified No. 1 and drove his COPO Camaro to victory in the second 2023 event for the FlexJet Factory Stock Showdown. The win was his first of the season and third of his career.

In the Sportsman ranks, Barry Parker drove to the Stock Eliminator win in his A/SA 1970 Camaro (his first national event victory in 33 years) while Monty Bogan took the Super Stock win behind the wheel of an SS/BS '92 Camaro.

Despite the rain, the Bowtie could not have asked for a better three days in Charlotte.

Be sure to keep watching the BLOCK for more on Chevrolet Performance and all motorsports disciplines.

 

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