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’

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Sixteen-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force made it official Saturday afternoon at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Force, who is losing Castrol Oil as his long-time primary sponsor at season’s end, will carry the colors of PEAK Antifreeze + Coolant and the BlueDEF subsidiary brand for the majority of the races he’ll compete in 2015.

“Personally, what this sponsorship means is that somebody didn’t look at my age, somebody looks at my credits and what I can do,” Force said. “I’m 65-years-old with grey hair, but you put me in a firesuit and I’m 21, I’m Brad Pitt and I’m bad ass and I’m going to prove that in 2015. 2015 is going to be the year of PEAK Force.”

Click here for the first official commercial of Force’s relationship with PEAK.

“I haven’t even reached my PEAK yet,” Force said in the commercial. “John Force in a blue car? That’s pretty amazing. … I had a great partnership before (with Castrol), but the world changes. I’m excited to move ahead and prove I can continue to win championships.”

It’s unclear exactly how many of the NHRA’s expected 24 races in 2015 will have PEAK on Force’s race car, but it appears it will be more than half of those races.

The 65-year-old Force is in the thick of trying to win his 17th NHRA Funny Car title this season, with Sunday’s final eliminations and the upcoming season finale at Pomona, California still remaining to be run.

“I’m committed to continuing to lead a championship team and PEAK has proven a similar commitment to the NHRA,” Force said in a media release. “Thanks to PEAK Antifreeze + Coolant, I won’t be hanging up my hat from this sport anytime soon.”

The multi-year deal will also include PEAK continuing in its current role (which began at the start of this season) as associate sponsor for three other drivers in the John Force Racing camp: Funny Car drivers Robert Hight and Courtney Force, and Top Fuel driver Brittany Force. Courtney and Brittany are John Force’s daughters, while Hight is Force’s son-in-law.

“Not only does PEAK provide high quality automotive products for American families like mine, but they’ve proved to be a valued partner on and off the track,” Force said. “I’m so grateful that they’re supporting me, my team and all the fans out there who love drag racing.”

Bryan Emrich, Chief Marketing Officer of Chicago-based PEAK/Old World Industries, made the announcement between the third and fourth qualifying rounds for Sunday’s NHRA Toyota Nationals at Las Vegas.

“We’re honored to be behind John Force and JFR for the 2015 season and beyond,” Emrich said. “PEAK chooses partners that exude the same passion and personal character of hard work that our company upholds.

“After working with John over the past year, it was clear that he and his family are a great fit for our company, allowing us to make the decision to step up and ensure John keeps racing for many more years to come.  He is an icon in this sport and a fan favorite and we are lucky to be tied with such a great championship winning organization.”

PEAK has been a longtime sponsor in various motorsport series for more than 30 years, including NHRA, NASCAR and IndyCar.

Force is expected to announce which major auto manufacturer he’ll align his Funny Car with for next season this coming Tuesday at the Specialty Equipment Markets Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas.

Force is ending a nearly two-decade relationship of campaigning Fords on his Funny Cars at the end of this season.

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Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.