Rahal rips ‘awful’ slower traffic in Iowa; ends in fifth place (VIDEO)

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Graham Rahal banked his fourth top-five finish in the last five Verizon IndyCar Series races in Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300 with a fifth place finish, and moved up to sixth in the championship standings.

But while Rahal admitted he was happy to be disappointed with fifth in the No. 15 GEHL Honda after starting 10th, it was slower traffic that drew his ire in his post-race interview.

Rahal used the middle to high line to his advantage throughout the race, which saved right side tire wear, but was annoyed with several other drivers that he felt were discourteous when he was trying to get around them.

“I’ll just say, the courtesy from guys laps down has been poor as of late. We talked about it our driver’s only meetings. Everyone said they’d improve. Today was awful,” Rahal said to NBCSN’s Anders Krohn.

“But I’m so proud of the GEHL team. I wanted to win today so I’m disappointed with fifth, which is a good thing. We’d have liked to gain on Will and Helio.

“I actually felt I had a car equally as good but the track position was hard, as I said under the red flag, there were guys moving up. That was where I was comfortable.”

Despite the frustration and surviving a late scrap with Josef Newgarden, who ended sixth, Rahal said he’s excited to head to Toronto next week, the next street course after sweeping the Detroit doubleheader last month.

“But the guys did a great job. We have to keep our heads down. Toronto, I hope the setup translates well from Detroit.

“Overall a great day. It’s four or five really solid finishes in a row for us right now.”

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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