NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Brown, Prock, Jeg Coughlin take first four-wide Mission Challenge victories

Antron Brown, Austin Prock, Jeg Coughlin Jr. won the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge at the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, the first time that the specialty event has been held in a four-wide format.
13 Apr 2024
NHRA National Dragster staff
Race coverage

Antron Brown, Austin Prock, Jeg Coughlin Jr. won the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge at the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, the first time that the specialty event has been held in a four-wide format.

The bonus race debuted last year and takes place on Saturday, traditionally rematching semifinalists from the previous event, but for the four-wide race at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, two four-car battles of quarterfinalists from the NHRA Arizona Nationals took place, with the two winners from each heat advancing to the four-wide final.

Brown won his second career Mission Challenge Top Fuel title and the first in the four-wide format, taking his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.792 victory to finish ahead of Shawn Langdon’s 3.798 and Tony Stewart’s 3.826. Low qualifier Doug Kalitta lost traction and finished fourth.

"I felt Shawn around the side of us and then some happened to him right around half track and I felt us inching and inching and we drove just a little bit around them,” he said. “It's so incredible how tight this class is in the way the Kalitta cars are running. When you have Doug Kalitta, the world champion, Shawn Langdon, a previous Top Fuel champion, then you got Tony Stewart in the final round, they're all cars that can win on any given Sunday."

Brown, winner of the Mission Challenge in Brainerd last year, and Langdon had advanced together to the final with first-round runs of 3.816 and 3.834 to finish ahead of Shawn Reed (3.844) and tire-smoking Steve Torrence.

Kalitta had powered to a 3.738 to win his first-round quad ahead of Stewart, who got there on a holeshot 3.807 that finished just ahead of Billy Torrence’s quicker-but-later 3.803. Justin Ashley finished fourth.

Prock continued to add to his incredible rookie season in Funny car by winning the Mission #2Fast2Tasty title in his Cornwell Tools Chevy, racing to the stripe with a 3.915 to defeat Paul Lee’s 3.939, Blake Alexander’s 3.963, and Daniel Wilkerson’s early shutoff.

"To get the first four wide win, that's pretty special. I've been in a handful of these things [in Top Fuel] and never been able to get it done., but we did the job today. Yesterday wasn't terrible on the tree but wasn't really what I want it to be and today I just have a new aim, new focus and it worked and I had two pretty stellar lights today."

In a fabulous opening Funny Car round to the Mission Challenge, all eight cars ran in the threes. Alexander advanced to the final with a 3.975 on a double holeshot ahead of second-place Lee’s 3.947 and Alexis DeJoria’s 3.967. Cruz Pedregon finished fourth with a 3.994.

Prock (3.904) and Wilkerson (3.943) also advanced to the four-wide final. Wilkerson got there ahead of third-place John Force’s better 3.938 on a holeshot while J.R. Todd was fourth at 3.986.

Jeg Coughlin Jr., won the Pro Stock crown when he outran a final quad that included his nephew, Troy, as well as Aaron Stanfield, and Glenn. Jeg’s 6.628 finished ahead of Troy’s 6.647, overcoming the younger Coughlin’s .011 to .022 holeshot to win by just .008-second, while Stanfield grabbed third place over Glenn thanks to a .013 to .028 starting-line advantage as both ran 6.661.

“It feels great to get any win, but this one is pretty special since I’ve been out of the car a couple years,” said Coughlin, who nabbed his first Mission Challenge win. “A big thanks to Mission Foods since they’ve done so much for the sport. That was one mean quad. T.J. said he’d be .010 [reaction time] and the little rascal was .011. I needed all of the Elite power to finish the job but that’s Pro Stock right now. There are so many good drivers.”

Glenn and Stanfield had advanced to the final quad over Cristian Cuadra and Erica Enders while the Coughlins made it through the second quad ahead of Greg Anderson and low qualifier Jerry Tucker.