Crowd-funded Cutters Race Team effort seeks to make Indy 500

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There could be a crowd-funded effort in this year’s Indianapolis 500, if Cutters Race Team’s two principles, Travis Tetrault and Jason Godby, gather enough fan interest to support the run.

“The People’s Race Car,” under the CuttersRT name, has a $1 million goal established. Each fan who pays $100 to become a sponsor would have his or her name on the car, with the target of 10,000 fans to meet that financial goal.

Names of individuals, rather than corporations, would be the only ones that appear on the car.

“The only way we could figure out how to do that was be a part of the big race and go out there with the corporations and sponsor a car,” Tetrault said, via NBC Indianapolis affiliate WTHR 13.

If the goal is met, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing would operate the car at the Speedway.

Important to note though, the CuttersRT effort is independent of being an SFHR program, and is also independent of SFHR’s second car, run in one race each of the last two years by RW (Rotondo Weirich) Motorsports’ Steve Weirich.

Weirich is still a team partner, and the team will release more regarding his specific involvement this year at a later date.

The car could still run with corporate sponsors if the all-fan target amount is not met. More information can be found at and the group’s social media platforms.

NHRA: John Force-like motor explosions get contagious during Sunday’s Gatornationals

Photo and video courtesy NHRA
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John Force is rubbing off on others – but probably not the way they or he would like.

The 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion has had spectacular motor explosions in each of the first three races of the new NHRA season, including during Friday’s qualifying for this weekend’s Gatornationals.

During Sunday’s quarterfinals of eliminations, Force’s teammate (and son-in-law and president of John Force Racing) Robert Hight squared off with fellow Funny Car driver Matt Hagan.

As the duo closed in on the finish line, both cars experienced spectacular motor explosions of their own – virtually side-by-side and nearly at the same time.

Hight’s car was the first to explode, tossing its body high in the air. A split-second later, Hagan’s car exploded, also sending the body flying.

Check out the NHRA video:

Hight wound up losing the race.

Hagan, meanwhile, and his crack pit crew rolled their backup car off the hauler, put in a new motor and went on to race through the semifinals and into the finals, losing to race winner “Fast Jack” Beckman.

“We had a pretty great race day, to be honest,” Hagan said. “I’ve never been to the finals in Gainesville.

“We obviously had a huge blow up in the second round, then to watch these guys pull the other car back out and put it together in the amount of time they had, then turn a win light on against Capps (Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps in the semifinals), then to be able to go to a final, it was huge and it speaks for itself.”

As for Hight, here’s his take on what happened with the motor explosion:

“I couldn’t see (Hagan) over there and it wasn’t like it was hazing the tires or anything else. As it turns out it wasn’t spinning at all. It kicked two rods out when it blacked the bearings in the crank then it hit the valves and blew up.

“The thing gave me no indication at all before that. What really scared me was once I got it under control and I look over and see his body is off his car. I am thinking ‘Oh man, he got gathered up in me.’ Then I stood up and looked and his injector was sideways so I realized he had an explosion as well. We are just lucky we didn’t get into each other.”

As for the guy who has had so much trouble in the motor department, John Force, he lost in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations to daughter Courtney Force.

John Force planned on shutting the motor off on his car at around the 700-foot mark of the 1,000-foot dragstrip, not wanting to risk another motor explosion – even though it meant a likely loss to his daughter.

Now John Force and his entire four-car team, including Courtney Force, Robert Hight and daughter and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force, will be off for extensive testing to try and determine what’s been causing the motor explosions.

“We have to evaluate it and go test,” Force said. “We’ll figure it out.”

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