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Smith, Prock, Millican, and Enders claim Mission #2Fast2Tasty wins in Bristol

Matt Smith earned his first Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge win of the season at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, and Funny Car points leader Austin Prock, Top Fuel's Clay Millican, and reigning Pro Stock champion Erica Enders also won the specialty race.
08 Jun 2024
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Race coverage

Matt Smith enjoyed an incredible day in Pro Stock Motorcycle at Bristol Dragway, taking the No. 1 qualifier and his first Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge win of the season in front of a near-capacity crowd on Saturday at the 23rd annual Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Funny Car points leader Austin Prock, Top Fuel's Clay Millican, and reigning Pro Stock champion Erica Enders also won the specialty race.

After knocking off points leader Gaige Herrera earlier in the day, Smith picked up the #2Fast2Tasty victory over his wife, Angie Smith, with a bold 6.802-second pass at 199.05 mph aboard his Denso Auto Parts Buell.

Smith lowered the boom in Thunder Valley in his run against Herrera, improving on his No. 1 position by going 6.759 at 200.05. Both are track records, and it was also the first 200-mph run at Bristol Dragway in Pro Stock Motorcycle history.

“I didn't think .75 was possible,” said the winning Smith. “Last night's pass when I went to the centerline, I knew we could have gone .77, I thought we could go .76, but this morning we just got all of it. We went 1.04 60-foot and the scoreboard popped up. That was pretty much a perfect pass for us. Then we come back for Q4 and we're low of the round again. All in all, I think we have a good deal for tomorrow. 

“Hats off to my whole team. I'm the privileged one that gets to ride the thing and all these guys working on it are the ones making it really good. We've got a really good program.”

In a matchup of last weekend’s Funny Car final round, points leader Prock knocked off John Force with a 4.049-seconds at 312.57 mph pass in his Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Camaro, eclipsing a 4.033 at 315.27 on a holeshot. Last weekend, it was Force that slipped past Prock in the championship round at Epping in a battle of teammates and the top two drivers in the points. Prock extracted some revenge on Saturday and also earned his sixth No. 1 qualifier in eight races thanks.

“That’s exactly how you dream it up to race again in the final and see if I can get it back,” Prock said. “Me and John have so much fun racing each other and that’s what we want to do every weekend. John has done a lot for me in my career and I definitely want to show him I’m capable of winning. If you can beat that guy, you know you’re getting the job done. He’s one of the toughest competitors out there and I love racing him.”

In Top Fuel, Clay Millican enjoyed another magical day at Bristol Dragway, winning the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge for the first time in his 11,000-horserpower Parts Plus/Rick Ware Racing dragster, going 3.839 at 302.41 to knock off Shawn Langdon in the specialty race. He defeated Tony Schumacher earlier in the day and then got past Langdon to claim the victory in the bonus race.

His run of 3.786 at 325.06 from Friday also easily held up, as Millican claimed the No. 1 spot in qualifying for the first time this season and 26th time in his career. Millican is now focused on going four rounds on Sunday, starting eliminations with a first-round matchup with Cam Ferre.

“This is absolutely awesome,” said Millican. “We are definitely chasing points. Last year we made a mistake and bumped ourselves out of the top 10, so we are looking for every single point we can get. I'm so excited because we've chased this. I really wanted to win this. It's such a great deal that Mission Foods is not only sponsoring the series, but also putting up money for us to have this race. It changes qualifying as a driver.

“You can't take it easy on Saturday, and that makes it difficult sometimes. But the old man got up on the wheel. I was racing one of the best there is out there in Shawn Langdon. I'm going to brag even if it's just that I got him that one time.”

Enders continued to roll in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, winning for the third time this season, this time with a 6.644 at 207.30 in her Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage/Melling Performance/Scag Power Equipment car. That’s a significant amount of championship bonus points for the defending world champion, who knocked off Dallas Glenn in the final round of the specialty race. It continued her strong momentum for the weekend, too, giving Enders a strong shot at her 50th national event victory on Sunday.

“We want to get a handle on our hot raceday setup,” said Enders. “Greg [Anderson, No. 1 qualifier] threw some huge numbers on the board for the weather conditions but we're just going to put our heads down and do our own thing. Those points mean an awful lot at the end of the year, and my first championship in 2014, if had I lost the final round, I would have lost the championship by one point – and we won by 19. It's always down to the wire, so those points are very important, and huge thank you to Mission for putting on the race.”