Long Beach: A big challenge for brakes

Leave a comment

The streets of Long Beach provide some of the toughest braking conditions the Verizon IndyCar Series will see all year.

On the 1.968-mile street circuit, there’s three deep braking points on the circuit. Courtesy of Brembo, the official brake supplier to the series, here are some interesting brake facts heading into the weekend.

  • At the end of Shoreline Drive, the front straight, cars decelerate from an estimated top speed of 167mph to a corner entry speed of 76mph, covering 332 feet in 2.02 seconds.
  • The next big braking point is entering Turn 6, coming down from 143mph to 70mph, covering 296 feet in 2.01 seconds. Like Turn 1, Turn 6 is a 90-degree left-hander.
  • Then there’s the backstraight. Going into the 90-degree right-hander, Turn 9, speeds decrease from 159mph to 85mph over 1.91 seconds. That corner registers 2.83 G’s.
  • The final braking point, for the Turn 11 hairpin, runs into the tightest corner the series runs all year. Speeds are at 42mph through the corner, if not less.

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

Photo: John Force Racing
Leave a comment

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.