The inaugural and independent SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout delivers serious early season racing momentum….

The unique event (presented by Johnson’s Horsepower Garage) & hosted by Florida’s Bradenton Motorsports Park, was an extremely lucrative affair with PRO class winners Austin Prock (Funny Car) & Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) collecting $250,000 first place money and Pro Stock winner Erica Enders pocketing $125,000.

Sportsman class racing for the PRO Superstar Shootout also featured big paydays with winners Darian Boesch (FTI Performance Top Sportsman), Matt Dadas (Super Stock), and Monty Bogan Jr. (Stock Eliminator) taking home $50,000 (Top Sportsman) and $30,000 (Super Stock and Stock Eliminator).

The FC final round saw Austin Prock (replacement driver for Robert Hight at JFR for 2024) power to a winning 3.845-seconds at 332.42 MPH in the Cornwell Tools Chevy Camaro SS to defeat defending NHRA world champion Matt Hagan, who ran a 3.872 at 329.75 mph.

Former Top Fuel driver Austin Prock got his fuel FC career off to an amazing and lucrative start!

In Top Fuel, defending NHRA Camping World Champion Doug Kalitta claimed the first ever SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout with a winning  3.706 at 325.14, to defeat  opponent Clay Millican.   

2023 NHRA World Champ Doug Kalitta won $250G in Top Fuel!

Defending and now 6X NHRA Pro Stock world Champion Erica Enders did shine in her class — qualifying #1 and then beating Dave Connolly in the final round running a 6.531 at 210.05 in her JHG/SCAG/Melling Camaro to Connolly’s 6.577 at 208.81 mph recording.

Defending NHRA World Champ Erica Enders won big $ in Pro Stock.

The event did also include a Top Fuel VS Funny Car Shootout – a featured bonus eliminator for drivers that did not qualify for the actual 8-car Top Fuel or Funny Car class eliminators.  That saw the two quickest cars from round one advancing and with Funny Car class drivers having a 2/10ths stagger start on the tree.  

Recent first time Funny Car winner Chad Green (winner of the NHRA Finals last November) faced 4X Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence in both round one and also the final after they were coincidentally the quickest from the first round.  In that final round rematch Green was first to the finish line in his Bond-Coat ’23 Ford Mustang laying down a 3.977 at 318.17 mph vs Torrence’s CAPCO Contractors dragster’s 3.729 at 333.41 mph.

The event did include some serious drag racing headline-hunting history with PPG-backed Ford Mustang Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III being credited with the first ever 340+ mph terminal speed!

 After running a record tying fast 339.47 mph on Friday night – Tasca clocked a stupendous and history making* 341.68 mph (coupled with a 3.840 secs ET) in the final qualifying round to become the first driver to eclipse that rather illusive speed milestone.

Bob Tasca III was credited with a milestone breaking speed for drag racing!

*It should be noted however that his very fast runs are “to the chagrin” of NHRA itself whose policy has been and remains often to take steps to curb high MPH marks. 

In this case a very well-prepped Bradenton Motorsports Park that was sprayed with traction compound to the max for this event  (much like what is done for Pro Mod class racing) and much further down then what is normally done for 1000’ NHRA national event series Top Fuel or Funny Car events.   That may have contributed to Tasca’s very speedy and exciting scenario.

Link to our PRO Superstar Shootout event photo gallery:  HERE

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Dave DeAngelis