John Force to debut much-anticipated 16X Funny Car this weekend in Las Vegas

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We’ve all heard of x-rays. Some have even heard of triple-x rated movies.

But when it comes to this weekend’s Toyota NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, John Force is taking his effort to win his record-extending 17th Funny Car championship to a high power.

As in 16X.

Fans have been waiting for Force to break out the unique red-white-blue paint scheme that commemorates his 16th Funny Car title, earned last season — and he couldn’t have done so at a better time.

With longtime crew chief Jimmy Prock having left Force’s team last week, any extra motivation will help.

Hence that’s why the “16X Champion American Made” Ford Mustang body will ride atop Force’s Funny Car chassis.

“I wanted something that really showed who I am,” Force said in a media release. “I am American made and everything about John Force Racing comes back to that idea.

“This is a tribute to all my employees who are American made and work harder than any team out here. I love America and I love NHRA Drag Racing. This was the perfect look for my 16-time championship Funny Car.”

Force clinched his record 16th Funny Car crown in last year’s Toyota NHRA Nationals at The Strip.

He’s currently second in this season’s rankings, 36 points behind rival Matt Hagan.

“I want to thank the fans and all my sponsors,” Force said. “Doing specialty cars is always tricky, but my sponsors have been great and I know the fans will get a kick out of seeing this red, white and blue hot rod on the track during qualifying in Las Vegas.”

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Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.