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INDYCAR to ramp up coverage of ISM open test

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The Verizon IndyCar Series will see its first official sessions of the 2018 season this weekend at ISM Raceway in Phoenix as the series ventures to the one-mile bullring for a a test open to all teams to kick off the 2018 season. Last year, all four sessions featured live streaming video, but this year will see an enhanced coverage package.

In addition to an extra camera that will capture action on pit lane – last year saw one fixed camera positioned above Turn 1 that scanned around the track – the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network will also provide commentary the entire weekend, with Mark Jaynes, Dave Furst, Jake Query, and IndyCar on NBCSN pit reporter Katie Hargitt calling the action.

The two-day test will be on February 9 and 10, with two sessions each day. The first sessions on Friday and Saturday are scheduled for 3:00 p.m. EST, with the second sessions slated for 8:00 p.m. EST. Each of the four sessions will last three hours in length.

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

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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.