Bo Jackson named as IndyCar Alabama grand marshal

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Cue the “Bo Knows” jokes, now about IndyCar.

Bo Jackson will be the second straight football legend to serve as grand marshal of IndyCar’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, after Bart Starr a year ago. It’s a home race for the Birmingham native at Barber Motorsports Park.

Jackson, the Auburn University running back and Heisman Trophy winner, and two-sport star in baseball and football, is also helping to raise awareness for his “Bo Bikes Bama” tour.

“I am excited to be a part of this world-class event in my hometown,” Jackson said.  “I’m really looking forward to taking Honda’s ‘Fastest Seat in Sports’ and compare it to my ride around the state in ‘Bo Bikes Bama.’”

The aforementioned ‘Fastest Seat in Sports’ is a ride-along in the Honda-sponsored two-seater IndyCar, with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk driving.

In 2012, Jackson started the campaign to raise funds for tornado relief recovery efforts. Jackson and other athletes biked for five days through tornado-ravaged communities. More information can be found here on the ride’s website.

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.