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.
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.
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