Hildebrand pitches IndyCar’s upcoming visit to Detroit at Tigers game

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JR Hildebrand took a break from his schedule ahead of traveling to Brazil for this weekend’s round of the IZOD IndyCar Series to head to Detroit for promotion of this year’s race.

Hildebrand, an avid San Francisco Giants fan, temporarily donned a Detroit Tigers jersey to throw out the ceremonial first pitch ahead of Monday’s Tigers game versus the Minnesota Twins. He threw a strike, and the Tigers won 4-3.

Hildebrand and Justin Verlander had the chance to reconnect after Verlander showed up at Long Beach two weeks ago, merely as a fan. The Tigers were in town to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Additional baseball and racing crossover in Long Beach occurred when Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing driver Charlie Kimball threw out the first pitch ahead of a Dodgers game, and Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson and legendary left-hander Randy Johnson shot photos throughout the weekend.

IndyCar races in Detroit from May 31-June 2, with a doubleheader weekend for the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
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16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

Force’s daughter, Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, suffered a hard wreck at Pomona, but recovered in time to race this weekend in Phoenix.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

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