Jeff Gordon to serve as NASCAR TV analyst this season

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He said he’d entertain it – and now he’s gonna do it.

Following a first report from Jim Utter of the Charlotte Observer, MotorSportsTalk has confirmed that four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will enter the broadcast booth this season as part of a rotation of driver analysts for Fox Sports’ coverage of NASCAR XFINITY Series events.

During a SiriusXM NASCAR Radio interview last week, Gordon – who will end his full-time Cup career at the conclusion of the 2015 season – indicated that he would be open to entering the television side of the sport.

“I love the sport,” Gordon said. “I’m very passionate about it. I love to critique it. I think I could do a good job with that. I don’t think it’s an easy job.

“I’ll be honest. I have a lot of respect for those that do it from radio and TV. I’d entertain it.”

Brad Keselowski and reigning Cup champion Kevin Harvick – both former NXS champions – will also be part of Fox’s planned analyst rotation for its coverage of that series.

The rotation will join regulars Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip in Fox’s NXS booth, while Vince Welch will lead its NXS pit road team that includes Jamie Little, Chris Neville, and Matt Yocum.

Those latter three will also serve as Fox’s pit road team on the Cup side, supporting the Cup booth trio of Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and Darrell Waltrip. Chris Myers and the Waltrip brothers’ duties on the pre-race show remain as well.

For Fox’s Camping World Truck Series coverage, Alexander, Joy, and Brian Till will fill in on play-by-play until regular series announcer Steve Byrnes returns from medical absence due to his ongoing battle against cancer. Joy will call the Trucks’ season opener at Daytona.

Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip are back as Truck Series analysts, and pit road reporting is led by Hermie Sadler, with Welch, Yocum, and Kaitlyn Vincie in supporting roles there.

Top Fuel driver Austin Prock earns 2019 NHRA top rookie honors

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Having just completed a promising first year in NHRA Top Fuel competition, Austin Prock is on the road to even greater drag racing success in his career.

That’s why it’s not surprising that Prock was named the winner of the 2019 Auto Club Road to the Future Award during Monday night’s annual NHRA Awards dinner at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California.

The Road to the Future Award is NHRA’s version of Rookie of the Year, and Prock was among the brightest young stars on the circuit this past season, including winning his first national event at the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle, the 16th race on the 24-race schedule.

What made that first win all the more sweeter is it came at the same event that his boss, legendary 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, captured his milestone 150th career win.

One month ago, Prock set a personal best run of 3.688 seconds at 334.40 mph over veteran driver Doug Kalitta in the first round of eliminations at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals three weeks ago in Ennis, Texas (suburban Dallas).

“I am proud of the season this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team put together,” Prock said in a media release. “My guys worked their asses off all season long to give me the opportunity to win the Auto Club Road the Future Award. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I would have never been here without John Force and Robert Hight (president of John Force Racing). They gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and I owe the world to them. I hope I made them proud.”

Prock became only the 10th rookie in the history of the NHRA pro ranks to both win a race in their first season and also go on to win the Road to the Future award. He also was the 13th rookie in the sport’s history to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six race playoffs.

Prock becomes the sixth John Force Racing driver to earn the Road to the Future Award, joining Tony Pedregon (1996), Hight (2005), Ashley Force-Hood (2007), Mike Neff (2008), Courtney Force (2012) and Brittany Force (2013).

Austin Prock is the son of veteran crew chief Jimmy Prock, who tuned Hight to his third career NHRA Funny Car championship this past Sunday.

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