NHRA: Vote for your top 5 Funny Car drivers in 2016 (Poll)

(Photo courtesy NHRA)

Sunday, we began a four-day series of reader polls on who will be YOUR top 5 drivers in NHRA’s four national professional series in 2016.

We started with Pro Stock Motorcycle riders, and then focused on Pro Stock drivers on Monday.

Today, we move into the third day of voting and who will be your top 5 drivers in Funny Car in 2016.

The Funny Car class in 2015 was anything but funny. It was a tight battle for much of the season between Del Worsham, “Fast Jack” Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Ron Capps — with Worsham ultimately winning the championship by just 56 points over his fellow southern Californian.

By winning, Worsham became only the third driver (others were Kenny Bernstein and Gary Scelzi) in NHRA history to win championships in both Nitro classes, namely, Funny Car and Top Fuel.

On the opposite end of the spectrum 2014 champ Matt Hagan and 16-time champ John Force both struggled (finished 5th and 7th, respectively) in the six-race Countdown to the Championship, as did other former champions including Robert Hight (6th) and Cruz Pedregon (9th).

One other thing of note: former FC champ Tony Pedregon has hung up his firesuit. But he’ll still be at all the races in 2016 in a new role as an analyst on Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1 telecasts of the 24-race NHRA national event schedule.

Ok, it’s time to put on your thinking cap and vote for YOUR top 5 drivers in Funny Car for 2016:

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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.”