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Red Bull Global Rallycross kicks off season May 19 at Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville

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Red Bull announced Thursday that it’s season-opening Global Rallycross (GRC) event will be held in the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky on May 19, 2018.

It will be the second consecutive year that the series visits Louisville, and will serve as the opener of the 12-round GRC 2018 season.

“Close racing, passionate fans, and a unique course all contributed to one of the series’ most thrilling races at last year’s Louisville event,” Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne said in a media release. “So kicking off the 2018 season with a return to the Kentucky Exposition Center made perfect sense.

“We are looking forward to bringing even more excitement to the fans this year with not only GRC’s signature wheel-to-wheel action, but also the addition of the series’ Polaris RZR side-by-side class!”

MORE: 2018 Red Bull GRC schedule

Last year’s race in Louisville saw photo finishes in both the Supercar and GRC Lites classes in both heat races and the finals.

The Supercar finale was especially close, as Steve Arpin used his bumper to push race leader Sebastian Eriksson off his line, leading to a drag race to the finish line.

Ericksson regained his momentum and beat Arpin at the finish line by .071 seconds, the smallest margin of victory in any Supercar final of 2017.

Among more notable GRC drivers slated to compete in Louisville are three-time defending Supercar champ Scott Speed and Volkswagen Andretti’s Tanner Foust, as well as GRC Lites’ Christian Brooks.

New to this year’s event will be the debut of the Polaris RZR class.

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.