STARS: Prock Storms to First National Midget Title

RaceChaser Staff Midwest, Other Midgets, Sprints & Midgets 0 Comments

MORRIS, Ill. — official release — STARS photo — Austin Prock’s championship season in the D’Arcy GMC STARS National Midget Series did not actually begin with this season’s opening race.

The proverbial ball got rolling in the latter half of his 2013 campaign when he closed the STARS season by winning three out of the final four races. Coming into the 2014 season, Prock knew he had the car and the team to win the title, but had to show more consistency and finish races more often.

On opening night, May 31 at Grundy County Speedway, Prock set the tone for the season after winning the feature from the sixth starting spot by utilizing the high side of the track to perfection. He followed that win up one week later by chalking up yet another first place finish. At that point, Prock had already shot out to a commanding point lead, having won five of the previous six STARS races dating back to the 2013 season.

Prock, the 19-year-old who hails from Avon, Ind., had his confidence riding high and never relented the point lead that he jetted out to at the beginning of the season. Along the way Prock would score two more wins, one at Grundy County on July 26 and another Kalamazoo (Mich.) Speedway on Aug. 16.

According to Prock, the success this year is due first and foremost to the commitment from his family.

“My family has sacrificed a lot to let my brother and me race,” Prock acknowledges. “My brother (Thomas) does a phenomenal job setting up my race car. My dad builds the baddest four-cylinder engine in midget racing and my mom gives us the support we need to win.”

Prock’s lineage in racing dates back to the tenure his great-grandfather, Jimmy Prock, had as a riding mechanic in the Indianapolis 500 from 1930 to 1933 alongside driver Chet Miller. Prock’s grandfather, Tom Prock, was the crew chief for Tom McEwen when he won the Funny Car portion of the U.S. Nationals in 1978. Prock’s dad, also named Jimmy Prock, is a two-time NHRA Funny Car champion crew chief, most recently calling the shots during John Force’s 16th NHRA championship season in 2013.

Now the youngest Prock is beginning to make a name for himself and is receiving help from another big name that came from the open wheel, short-track ranks – Tony Stewart.

During the week, the Prock team houses their car in the Tony Stewart Racing shop in Brownsburg, Ind. Stewart allows the team to use any tool they need to help get their car ready for the next race.

“I have to thank everyone at Tony Stewart Racing for teaching us everything we know about a midget,” Prock said. “If it wasn’t for them, I don’t know where we would be right now. We would definitely not be a champion. I’ve got some really good people behind me. I’ve got to thank my sponsors and, last but not least, the Guglielmucci boys (Austin and Alex) for all their help in the pits this year.”

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