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Catch first look at sleek and racy new Indy car in this weekend’s tests in Phoenix

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IndyCar teams and fans will get the opportunity to see the new 2018 Indy cars put through their paces today and Saturday during a four-session test at ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix International Raceway) in Avondale, Arizona.

Every team that will take part in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season is on hand at the one-mile track, working out offseason rust, while also learning to adapt to the new bold and sleek IndyCar chassis.

There will be two test sessions today and two more on Friday. The times are identical both days: 3-6 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET.

You can watch the test sessions via live stream by clicking here, as well as on IndyCar.com, IndyCar’s YouTube page and IndyCar’s Facebook page.

 

You’ll get play-by-play and commentary, as well as pit reports, from Dave Furst, Jake Query, Mark Jaynes and NBC’s Katie Hargitt.

If you can only get audio, tune in to INDYCAR Radio, which will carry all practice sessions on IndyCar.com and the INDYCAR mobile app.

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Last night, INDYCAR champions Tony Kanaan and Simon Pagenaud attended the Arizona State Sun Devils men’s basketball game vs. the visiting USC Trojans.

But they didn’t just sit idle in their seats. Oh, no. The two veteran drivers took part in ASU’s traditional “Curtain of Distraction” stunt in the second half, where they provided distraction movements to “help” make the Trojans miss their free throws.

Kanaan and Pagenaud not only forced USC to miss its free throw attempt at the time, but who knew how pivotal their distraction efforts would prove to be, as the host Sun Devils wound up winning by two points.

Here’s some social media posts about Pagenaud and Kanaan and their game-winning distraction moves:

 

 

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.