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F1 drivers are great talents, but they have pretty eclectic taste in music

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Circuit of the Americas has borrowed a page from Bristol Motor Speedway’s playbook, where it asks drivers to pick their favorite songs to be played during pre-race introductions.

Based in one of the best music towns in the U.S., COTA is doing a similar thing for the upcoming Formula One United States Grand Prix (Oct. 21-23), asking F1 drivers to choose two or three of their favorite driving songs they’d like to play while hitting the road.

Given how many drivers are not from the United States, the list is rather surprising given how many picks are from American bands.

Tied for most popular singers/bands were The Eagles and Michael Jackson, with three picks each.

The most popular song was The Eagles’ “Hotel California” with three picks, while Jackson’s hits were split between “Billie Jean” (two picks) and “Thriller” (one pick).

Musicians who were picked twice were Bruce Springsteen, The Beach Boys, Ty Dolla $ign, U2, Kings of Leon, Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars, MadeInTYO and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Songs that were picked twice included: Springsteen’s “Born In The USA,” The Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA,” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,”

And earning one pick each were: Prince, America, Steppenwolf, PMMP, Uncle Lucius, The Lumineers, Mr. Wives, The Offspring, Pharrell, The Killers, Rascal Flatts, Justin Timberlake, Coldplay, Enrique Iglesias, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Motorhead, Frank Sinatra, ZZ Top, Pearl Jam, The Doors, AC/DC, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fleetwood Mac.

Without question, the driver with the widest variety of taste in music had to be Danill Kvyat, who chose Metallica’s “Whiskey in the Jar,” Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” and … wait for it … Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.”

A close second for variety had to be Kimi Raikkonen, who went way back for Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild,” America’s “A Horse with No Name,” and PMMP’s “Pikkuveli.”

Here’s the complete list of drivers and their song picks:

Lewis Hamilton:

Wavy – Ty Dolla $ign

Campaign – Ty Dolla $ign

I Want – MadeinTYO

Nico Rosberg:

Beautiful Day – U2

Surfin’ U.S.A. – The Beach Boys

Sex On Fire – Kings of Leon

Sebastian Vettel:

Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen

Little Red Corvette – Prince

Kimi Raikkonen:

A Horse with No Name – America

Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf

Pikkuveli – PMMP

Daniel Ricciardo:

Keep The Wolves Away – Uncle Lucius

Stubborn Love –  The Lumineers

The Western – Mr. Wives

Max Verstappen:

Billy Jean – Michael Jackson

Thriller –  Michael Jackson

Valtteri Bottas:

Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) – The Offspring

Felipe Massa:

Happy – Pharrell

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars

Hotel California – The Eagles

Esteban Gutierrez:

All These Things That I’ve Done – The Killers

Use Somebody – Kings of Leon

Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts

Romain Grosjean:

Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars

Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

Sergio Perez:

Vertigo – U2

Viva la Vida – Coldplay

Bailando – Enrique Iglesias

Nico Hülkenberg:

Hotel California – The Eagles

Surfin’ U.S.A. – The Beach Boys

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones

Daniil Kvyat:

Whisky in the Jar – Metallica

Ace of Spades – Motörhead

Strangers in the Night – Frank Sinatra

Felipe Nasr:

Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top

L.A. Woman – The Doors

Even Flow – Pearl Jam

Marcus Ericsson:

Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Hotel California – The Eagles

Back In Black – AC/DC

Jolyon Palmer:

Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Chain – Fleetwood Mac

Kevin Magnussen:

Born in the USA – Bruce Springsteen

Fans are encouraged to share their favorite songs on social media, using the hashtag #COTASoundtrack via:

Twitter: @circuitamericas

Facebook: facebook.com/circuitoftheamericas

Instagram: @cota_official

Also, check out the Spotify Playlist link: 

https://open.spotify.com/user/circuitoftheamericas/playlist/3ywA9TrsoI8TREwSYWGFaH

COTA Blog:

http://www.circuitoftheamericas.com/blog/2016/10/4/the-american-soundtrack-a-formula-1-drivers-playlist

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NHRA shocker in Houston: John Force fails to qualify for first time since 2008, snaps 221-race streak

Photo and videos courtesy NHRA
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Sunday’s eliminations in the 31st annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway in suburban Houston  just won’t be the same without John Force.

In one of the most stunning turn of events seen in the last decade-plus in NHRA drag racing, the legendary 16-time Funny Car champion and the sport’s all-time winningest driver on Saturday failed to qualify for Sunday’s main event of the race weekend.

It marks the first time Force, who turns 69 on May 4, failed to qualify for a race since Sept. 13, 2008 in Charlotte race, snapping a string of having made the eliminations in each of the subsequent 221 races until failing to do so Saturday.

“That is hard for me,” Force said after failing to go any faster than 222.29 mph in the four qualifying rounds for the race, two on Friday and the other two on Saturday. “You earn what you get. We didn’t put it in the show. We couldn’t get to half-track.

“We have had a lot of problems all year. At least I got my final shot to get in and I didn’t make it. I will be here tomorrow rooting on Robert, Courtney and Brittany (teammates Robert Hight and daughters Courtney and Brittany Force). I’ll be signing autographs for all the fans. I am sorry to all of you fans that I didn’t make it.”

Saturday’s failure to qualify marked only the 22nd time he’s DNQ’d in his 40-year professional drag racing career. He set a drag racing record by qualifying for 395 consecutive events from 1988 until April 2007.

“I am bummed that the boss didn’t get in. That was quite a streak he had going,” Hight said of hoss and father-in-law. “There is nobody better at rallying a team and leading a comeback than John Force.

“He loves the fight and he will do whatever it takes to get his team back on top. It really isn’t something to worry about because two of our Chevys are No.1 and No. 2 right now.

“We have good combinations and we just have to duplicate one of those set ups for John’s PEAK Funny car. He’ll be back next week in Charlotte.”

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As for the other classes (information courtesy NHRA Media Relations):Leah Pritchett set a new Top Fuel track record during the final qualifying session on Saturday to secure the top spot in Top Fuel heading into Sunday.Hight (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) are also No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fifth of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.

Defending event champion Pritchett raced her Mopar Dodge dragster to a pass of 3.680-seconds at 326.00 mph. This is her first No. 1 qualifier of the season and eighth of her career.

“We’ve been developing our confidence the last couple of races,” Pritchett stated. “To be able to put it on the track is phenomenal. We know we need to be exceptional because our competition is exceptional.”

Pritchett will line up against Terry Brian in round one of eliminations on Sunday. Defending world champion Brittany Force locked-in the No. 2 spot after a 3.701 at 313.80 in her Monster Energy dragster. Tony Schumacher is seeded third and will face William Litton.

Hight’s final qualifying pass of 3.894 at 317.27 in his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro took him to the top of the Funny Car category. This is his first No. 1 qualifier of the season, second at Houston and 58th of his career.

“This is going to be a new ball game tomorrow,” Hight said. “With fresh asphalt and the sun being out; these cars are going to spin. It’s definitely going to be fun. Two of our Chevy’s are one and two (in Funny Car) which shows we have good combinations.”

Hight will face-off against Todd Simpson Sunday morning in the first round. Teammate Courtney Force sits in the No. 2 position with a pass of 3.911 at 295.14 in her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro and two-time world champion Matt Hagan rounds out the top three.

Anderson, four-time Pro Stock world champion, remained atop the field Saturday with his pass of 6.492 at 213.00 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro from the first qualifying session on Friday. He notched his third consecutive No. 1 qualifier of the season and is seeking his first victory of the year.

“I haven’t had great Sunday’s yet,” Anderson stated. “I know I’m going to break through one of these days though. The weather is going to be great again tomorrow. I feel good about it, I’m excited and so far it’s just been a great weekend.”

Anderson will race Steve Graham in the first round of eliminations. Jeg Coughlin Jr. qualified in the No. 2 position with a pass of 6.504 at 212.36 in his JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro and Tanner Gray is third.

Eliminations at the NHRA SpringNationals begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday at Royal Purple Raceway.

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SUNDAY’S FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS FOR ELIMINATIONS:

TOP FUEL: 1. Leah Pritchett, 3.680 seconds, 326.00 mph vs. 16. Terry Brian, 4.275, 284.62; 2. Brittany Force, 3.701, 320.20 vs. 15. Terry Haddock, 4.081, 287.17; 3. Tony Schumacher, 3.703, 322.73 vs. 14. Bill Litton, 3.927, 306.60; 4. Billy Torrence, 3.737, 317.87 vs. 13. Kebin Kinsley, 3.819, 313.51; 5. Antron Brown, 3.740, 324.98 vs. 12. Terry McMillen, 3.783, 314.31; 6. Clay Millican, 3.746, 315.78 vs. 11. Mike Salinas, 3.766, 313.73; 7. Doug Kalitta, 3.748, 320.05 vs. 10. Richie Crampton, 3.766, 316.23; 8. Scott Palmer, 3.754, 318.17 vs. 9. Steve Torrence, 3.759, 313.88. Did Not Qualify: 17. Terry Totten, 4.636, 216.34.

FUNNY CAR: 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.894, 317.27 vs. 16. Todd Simpson, Dodge Charger, 4.318, 288.33; 2. Courtney Force, Camaro, 3.911, 313.58 vs. 15. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Camry, 4.151, 283.49; 3. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.913, 311.85 vs. 14. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.077, 305.77; 4. Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.918, 317.42 vs. 13. Richard Townsend, Camry, 4.026, 308.99; 5. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 3.918, 301.94 vs. 12. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.017, 307.51; 6. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.925, 311.41 vs. 11. Shawn Langdon, Camry, 3.994, 311.34; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.926, 313.00 vs. 10. J.R. Todd, Camry, 3.989, 313.37; 8. Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 3.927, 316.52 vs. 9. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.938, 314.09. Did Not Qualify: 17. Jim Campbell, 4.341, 273.05; 18. John Force, 4.625, 222.29.

PRO STOCK: 1. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.492, 213.00 vs. 16. Steve Graham, Camaro, 6.775, 205.60; 2. Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.504, 212.36 vs. 15. Alan Prusiensky, Dodge Dart, 6.621, 208.65; 3. Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.507, 211.99 vs. 14. John Gaydosh Jr, Chevrolet Camaro, 6.592, 210.93; 4. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.513, 212.29 vs. 13. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.548, 210.67; 5. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.518, 211.99 vs. 12. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.545, 210.50; 6. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.525, 212.79 vs. 11. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.532, 212.73; 7. Drew Skillman, Camaro, 6.527, 212.29 vs. 10. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.532, 211.79; 8. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.528, 211.93 vs. 9. Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.530, 211.33.