(UPDATED) NHRA: John Force to announce new sponsor Saturday, new manufacturer Tuesday

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UPDATED: John Force to be sponsored in 2015 by PEAK: ‘I’m 65 but put me in a firesuit and I’m 21, Brad Pitt and bad ass’

What happens in Vegas supposedly stays in Vegas.

Unless you’re 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force. He’s got a lot to tell about his team and racing organization over the next few days, and it’s not staying in Sin City.

Force has two major announcements that his fans have been patiently waiting for nearly a year, ever since Ford and Castrol announced late last year that they would not return as Force’s primary manufacturer and primary sponsor, respectively, after the 2014 season.

Saturday at 3 pm PT (6 pm ET)  between qualifying rounds at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Force is expected to make the long-awaited announcement of the primary sponsor on his car for the 2015 season.

MORE: NHRA: John Force rolls to No. 1 Funny Car qualifier in first race without former crew chief Jimmy Prock

Force is then expected to announce the car manufacturer he’ll align himself with, and the model car he’ll drive in 2015, this coming Tuesday during the first day of the mammoth SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) automotive performance and aftermarket product show, also in Las Vegas.

All kinds of rumors have floated through the sport over the last several months as to which company will replace Castrol as Force’s primary sponsor, everything from the possibility of a beer company to some type of insurance or automotive performance product or service. We’ve also heard rumors that Castrol may not be going away completely, that it may remain in an associate sponsorship role, which has not been confirmed.

Likewise for the manufacturer and model. With Ford not returning, Force has essentially three manufacturers to pick from: Toyota, Chevrolet or Dodge. He and his 320-mph Funny Car would be a perfect fit for the new Dodge Challenger Hellcat, the most powerful (707 mph) American-made street car ever made.

But with several of his competitors racing Toyota Camry Funny Cars, including Cruz Pedregon and Alexis DeJoria, that could be another possibility for Force.

And then there’s Chevrolet, which is heavily represented in Pro Stock, but has no entries in the Funny Car ranks. If Force were to align with Chevrolet, he’d have the manufacturer and brand essentially all to himself.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series triples to 34 races in 2023

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023
Xtreme Outlaw Series
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After hosting 10 rounds in 2022, the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series 2023 schedule will more than triple to 34 races. The 2022 season featured seven different winners in the first seven races, a female racer in Jade Avedisian as the only repeat winner and Zach Daum as the champion.

“Dirt Midget racing is a growing entity in American motorsports, and the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota is proud to drive further into the growth of the division with both a diverse and lucrative schedule for 2023,” newly appointed Series Director Tyler Bachman said in a press release. “From the kickoff at our first indoor event, to each of the new tracks we’re set to visit next year, it’s a lineup we know both our teams and fans will enjoy.”

The championship purse fund has also more than double with an increase of $42,000 to $80,000 in 2023. The champion will win $25,000. Last year, Daum pocketed $10,000.

In addition, the series will offer tow money to the top 12 in points. Six drivers attempted to qualify for all 10 races in 2022 with 89 drivers attending.

The series will begin on March 10 at Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Ill. and end the same place it did in 2022 at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City on October 15.

During the season, they will visit 21 tracks in 10 states.

Some highlights of the season include the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series pairing up with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars in 2023 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. in April for the Outlaw Showdown and again in August for the Ironman 55 weekend, as well as the creation of a five-day Midget Speedweek.

The Midget Speedweek will immediately follow the Ironman 55 with a swing through Pennsylvania and New York.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023 Schedule

Friday, March 10 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Saturday, March 11 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Friday, March 31 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.

Saturday, April 1 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.
Friday, April 14 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Saturday, April 15 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.

Friday, May 5 | Humboldt Speedway | Humboldt, Kan.
Saturday, May 6 | 81 Speedway | Park City, Kan.
Tuesday, May 23 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.
Wednesday, May 24 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.

Thursday, June 1 | Tri-City Speedway | Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Friday, June 2 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.
Saturday, June 3 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.

Friday, July 21 | TBA
Saturday, July 22 | Southern Illinois Raceway | Marion, Ill.
Friday, July 28 | TBA
Saturday, July 29 | Atomic Speedway | Chillicothe, Ohio
Sunday, July 30 | Brushcreek Motorsports Complex | Peebles, Ohio

Friday, August 4 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Sat, August 5 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Tuesday, August 8 | Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway | Newmanstown, Pa.
Wednesday, August 9 | Action Track USA | Kutztown, Pa.
Thursday, August 10 | Linda’s Speedway | Jonestown, Pa.
Friday, August 11 | TBA
Saturday, August 12 | Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, N.J.
Friday, August 25 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa
Saturday, August 26 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa

Friday, September 1 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Saturday, September 2 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Friday, September 15 | Jacksonville Speedway | Jacksonville, Ill.
Saturday, September 16 | Red Hill Raceway | Sumner, Ill.

Friday, October 13 | Port City Raceway | Tulsa, Okla.
Saturday, October 14 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sunday, October 15 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.

* Co-sanctioned with POWRi