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NHRA Legend John Force Picks His Funny Car Replacement

After defeating his Funny Car teammate Austin Prock in the final round of Sunday’s NHRA New England Nationals at Epping, N.H., 157-time winner John Force said Prock will be the one to replace him when he retires.

“I talk too much. I say too much crap. But this kid is going to replace me,” Force, 75, said of the 28-year-old class rookie who is subbing this year for three-time champion Robert Hight.

However, Force—drag racing’s winningest driver—did not specify when he will step from the seat. He did say, “My time’s pretty much up. I’ve done my time. I’m not going to quit tomorrow. I’ll be at Bristol [this coming weekend in Tennessee for the Thunder Valley Nationals]. But now I’m starting the process.

“You want a winner like Robert Hight and Brittany Force? Austin Prock, you support him. He’ll probably be the guy to replace me,” Force said.

He said Hight will return to the Funny Car class but didn’t say when. And he said he working right now to put a driver in the seat of a second Top Fuel dragster. Jordan Vandergriff reportedly has signed a contract with John Force Racing.

Susan Wade has lived in the Seattle area for 40 years, but motorsports is in the Indianapolis native’s DNA. She has emerged as one of the leading drag-racing writers with nearly 30 seasons at the racetrack, focusing on the human-interest angle.  She was the first non-NASCAR recipient of the prestigious Russ Catlin Award and has covered the sport for the Chicago Tribune, Newark Star-Ledger, and Seattle Times. She has contributed to Autoweek as a freelance writer since 2016.

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