Shea Holbrook shifts to jet-powered dragster in IHRA


Chances are if you’re a fan of road racing or have followed the Pirelli World Challenge the last several years, you’ve heard of Shea Holbrook. Holbrook won five races in this year’s PWC TCA class this season and finished second in the championship; she’s also done the Fireball Run and is an active advocate for Duchenne’s.

Holbrook, however, is making a surprise career shift looking to 2015, where she’ll be going drag racing with General Electric J-85 Jet-Powered Dragster with Larsen Motorsports in the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series.

“Excitement doesn’t even express how I feel about this. I’m very grateful to Larsen Motorsports for this tremendous opportunity. Soon I’ll know what it’s like to move at speeds approaching 300 mph, but first I have a lot to learn before I get behind a machine with 4,500 pounds of thrust,” she said in a release.

She’s looking for crowdfunding to help raise funds to get her license, via Dark Horse Pros. Holbrook, known as one of the more social media savvy drivers in racing, has the campaign that runs through December 2.

“This campaign was designed to create an opportunity for those who want to get directly involved with the future of my racing career,” she said. “My goal is to raise an additional $35,000 to help with things like an IHRA and NHRA jet license, safety gear, and other essential equipment.

“It’s an uneasy feeling asking for help, but the support I received over the years from fans and loved ones has made everything worthwhile. It’s important to me that this campaign is successful and becomes a benchmark for future racers and athletes who want to take control of their own destinies by launching their own campaigns.  In my case, I’m turning to you for support.”

Drag racing has long been an arena where female drivers have succeeded; currently, the Force family, by way of John’s daughters Courtney and Brittany, along with Patron-sponsored Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria, are all contenders. Courtney Force and DeJoria have won races this season. So with time and training this could well be an opportunity where Holbrook’s name gets mentioned in that same lofty category.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”