(Photo courtesy NHRA)

NHRA: Langdon (TF), Johnson (FC), Line (PS) are Bristol winners

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Don Schumacher Racing dominated the finals in Sunday’s Top Fuel and Funny Car matchups in the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (Tennessee) Dragway.

Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel) and Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) defeated fellow DSR teammates Tony Schumacher and Matt Hagan in each of their respective final round appearances.

Meanwhile, Jason Line continued his domination in Pro Stock for KB Racing, earning his sixth win in the first 11 races of the 24-race NHRA national event schedule.

Langdon reached (3.838 seconds at 322.19 mph) and emerged victorious in his first final round appearance of the season, defeating Schumacher (3.934 at 310.70 mph).

It was Langdon’s 12th career win, his second career win at Bristol and saw him jump up to sixth place in the Mello Yello Top Fuel point standings.

“We really did struggle at the beginning of the year,” Langdon, who won the 2013 Top Fuel championship, said in a media release. “Everybody at Don Schumacher Racing came together and everybody there helped out; it’s a big team. I have to thank all the other crews and our Red Fuel crew. This is a big win for us and we are excited.”

The win propels Langdon into the sixth spot for the upcoming Top Fuel Traxxas Nitro Shootout on Labor Day weekend at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

Schumacher, meanwhile, who struggled in the early part of the season, appears to be back on track, now having finished runner-up in the last two races on the NHRA national event schedule. Schumacher is now fifth in the standings.

It was Langdon’s second win for DSR. He also won last season’s finale at Pomona, California.

In Funny Car, Johnson roared to his first win of the season and 13th of his career. Johnson (4.038 seconds at 313.22 mph) defeated teammate Hagan (4.030 seconds at 317.57 mph)

It was Johnson’s second career win at Bristol and improved his ranking to seventh place in the Funny Car point standings.

“We’re just slow starters, but we’re strong finishers,” Johnson said of his first win and second final round appearance this season. “The guys kept working hard and have kept their heads down. We got hot in Epping (last weekend in New Hampshire) with a runner-up finish and we are on a roll now and we’re looking good.”

Like Langdon did in Top Fuel, Johnson locked himself into a spot in the Funny Car portion of the Traxxas Nitro Shootout. The eighth/final spot of the bonus event held on will be decided by a fan vote.

Lastly, in Pro Stock, Line (6.668 seconds at 207.59 mph) earned his sixth win of 2016 and 43rd of his career, defeating teammate Greg Anderson (6.694 seconds at 207.62 mph), who has won the other five races.

“It’s been amazing,” said Line, who has raced to every final round this season except one. “I am so thrilled to be up here, you just can’t imagine.

“I am living my dream. The fact that I am getting to do this and have been so successful this year is awesome.”

Line and Anderson remain 1-2 in the Pro Stock standings.

The NHRA hits the midpoint of the 24-race season next weekend (June 23-26) in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

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FINAL FINISHING ORDER:

TOP FUEL: 1.  Shawn Langdon; 2.  Tony Schumacher; 3.  Doug Kalitta; 4.  Antron Brown; 5.  Steve Torrence; 6. Richie Crampton; 7.  Brittany Force; 8.  Pat Dakin; 9.  Leah Pritchett; 10.  Clay Millican; 11. J.R. Todd; 12.  Kyle Wurtzel; 13.  Chris Karamesines; 14.  Terry McMillen; 15.  Terry Haddock; 16. Scott Palmer.

FUNNY CAR: 1.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 2.  Matt Hagan; 3.  Alexis DeJoria; 4.  Ron Capps; 5.  Jack Beckman; 6. Courtney Force; 7.  Robert Hight; 8.  Del Worsham; 9.  John Hale; 10.  Chad Head; 11.  John Force; 12.  Tim Wilkerson; 13.  Jeff Diehl; 14.  Dave Richards; 15.  Jim Campbell; 16.  Cruz Pedregon.

PRO STOCK: 1.  Jason Line; 2.  Greg Anderson; 3.  Jeg Coughlin; 4.  Drew Skillman; 5.  Vincent Nobile; 6. Allen Johnson; 7.  Shane Gray; 8.  Bo Butner; 9.  Erica Enders; 10.  Alex Laughlin; 11.  John Gaydosh Jr; 12.  Chris McGaha; 13.  V. Gaines; 14.  Dave River.

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FINAL RESULTS:

Top Fuel — Shawn Langdon, 3.838 seconds, 322.19 mph  def. Tony Schumacher, 3.924 seconds, 310.70 mph.

Funny Car — Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 4.038, 313.22  def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.030, 317.57.

Pro Stock — Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.668, 207.59  def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.694, 207.62.

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FINAL ROUND-BY-ROUND RESULTS:

TOP FUEL: ROUND ONE — Pat Dakin, 3.821, 292.65 def. Clay Millican, 3.841, 322.65; Shawn Langdon, 3.817, 323.89 def. Terry McMillen, 4.357, 195.96; Brittany Force, 3.842, 317.42 def. Chris Karamesines, 4.243, 220.12; Steve Torrence, 3.823, 325.14 def. Terry Haddock, 4.645, 173.72; Doug Kalitta, 3.783, 329.34 def. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.917, 300.46; Antron Brown, 3.842, 315.12 def. Scott Palmer, 5.456, 127.76; Richie Crampton, 3.812, 314.83 def. Leah Pritchett, 3.838, 320.13; Tony Schumacher, 3.794, 324.90 def. J.R. Todd, 3.873, 314.61; QUARTERFINALS — Langdon, 3.835, 319.07 def. Force, 4.089, 276.80; Brown, 3.856, 314.31 def. Crampton, 3.937, 257.24; Schumacher, 3.802, 326.32 def. Torrence, 3.835, 320.97; Kalitta, 3.821, 323.89 def. Dakin, 8.486, 71.22; SEMIFINALS — Langdon, 4.464, 265.53 def. Kalitta, 5.350, 188.52; Schumacher, 3.840, 325.61 def. Brown, 8.399, 84.20; FINAL — Langdon, 3.838, 322.19 def. Schumacher, 3.924, 310.70.

FUNNY CAR: ROUND ONE — Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.945, 309.49 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.614, 176.12; Ron Capps, Charger, 3.978, 315.86 def. Jim Campbell, Toyota Camry, Foul – Red Light; Del Worsham, Camry, 3.961, 323.04 def. John Hale, Charger, 4.186, 255.34; Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 4.000, 319.67 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, 5.581, 133.43; Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.984, 320.89 def. Dave Richards, Mustang, 7.636, 65.61; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.988, 316.38 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, Foul – Centerline; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.026, 315.93 def. Chad Head, Camry, 4.489, 226.32; Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.974, 322.73 def. John Force, Camaro, 4.503, 197.74; QUARTERFINALS — Hagan, 4.048, 316.82 def. C. Force, 4.048, 313.66; Johnson Jr., 3.990, 314.83 def. Hight, 4.095, 283.85; DeJoria, 4.012, 314.53 def. Worsham, 8.397, 80.47; Capps, 3.990, 315.05 def. Beckman, 4.007, 317.19; SEMIFINALS — Johnson Jr., 4.039, 312.42 def. DeJoria, 4.138, 288.33; Hagan, 5.190, 220.98 def. Capps, 5.989, 158.13; FINAL — Johnson Jr., 4.038, 313.22 def. Hagan, 4.030, 317.57.

PRO STOCK: ROUND ONE — Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.752, 206.86 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.796, 205.63; Allen Johnson, Dodge Dart, 6.695, 207.59 def. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.760, 206.29; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.688, 207.75 def. Erica Enders, Dart, 6.716, 206.32; Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.689, 207.37 def. V. Gaines, Dart, 9.479, 96.16; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.650, 208.97 def. Dave River, Chevy Cobalt, Broke – No Show; Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.716, 205.54 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.645, 207.85; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.657, 208.07 def. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.790, 202.94; QUARTERFINALS — Coughlin, 6.746, 204.63 def. Johnson, 6.971, 167.32; Skillman, 6.702, 206.76 def. Nobile, 6.715, 206.86; Anderson, 6.668, 207.56 def. Gray, 7.165, 150.88; Line, 6.668, 207.34 was unopposed; SEMIFINALS — Line, 6.688, 207.66 def. Skillman, 14.723, 56.33; Anderson, 6.690, 207.56 def. Coughlin, 10.882, 80.81; FINAL — Line, 6.668, 207.59 def. Anderson, 6.694, 207.62.

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UPDATED POINT STANDINGS:

Top Fuel: 1.  Doug Kalitta, 926; 2.  Antron Brown, 873; 3.  Steve Torrence, 846; 4.  Brittany Force, 754; 5. Tony Schumacher, 675; 6.  Shawn Langdon, 595; 7.  J.R. Todd, 562; 8.  Clay Millican, 540; 9. Richie Crampton, 535; 10.  Leah Pritchett, 412.

Funny Car: 1.  Ron Capps, 841; 2.  Jack Beckman, 786; 3.  Courtney Force, 741; 4.  Matt Hagan, 710; 5.  Del Worsham, 701; 6.  Tim Wilkerson, 691; 7.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 675; 8.  Robert Hight, 643; 9.  John Force, 615; 10.  Alexis DeJoria, 588.

Pro Stock: 1.  Jason Line, 1,263; 2.  Greg Anderson, 1,170; 3.  Bo Butner, 758; 4.  Allen Johnson, 668; 5. Drew Skillman, 625; 6.  Vincent Nobile, 535; 7.  Chris McGaha, 524; 8.  Jeg Coughlin, 496; 9. Shane Gray, 458; 10.  Alex Laughlin, 445.

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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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