John Force: I want your vote (for Traxxas Shootout)

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Like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force wants your vote.

But Force isn’t running for U.S. president. Rather, Force is hoping his legions of loyal fans stuff the ballot box to vote him into the upcoming Traxxas Shootout, a special exhibition race during the upcoming Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Aug. 31-Sept. 5, at Lucas Oil Raceway in suburban Indianapolis.

But Force isn’t the only one stumping for votes for the Shootout. Also hoping to earn the eighth and final fan-vote spot in the Funny Car portion of the Shootout are Jack Beckman, John Hale, Chad Head, Cruz Pedregon and Del Worsham.

There is also balloting in Top Fuel, with drivers eligible for the sixth and final fan-vote spot in the dragster portion of the Shootout being Richie Crampton, Terry McMillen, Clay Millican and J.R. Todd.

There’s a lot at stake in the Shootout. Not only are bragging rights up for grabs, the winners in each class earn $100,000 apiece.

Fans can vote for their favorite candidate for the Traxxas Shootout – Trump and Clinton not included – on the National Hot Rod Association’s Facebook page (click here to vote) from now until 9 a.m. ET on Tuesday, August 30.

Depending upon how many fan votes each driver receives, they will be given a corresponding number of lottery balls that will then be put into a drawing that will determine the winners on Wednesday, August 31.

Here are the drivers that have already qualified (and the race wins that earned them a spot in the Shootout):

TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT (TOP FUEL)

  1. Steve Torrence (Pomona 1)
  2. Leah Pritchett (Phoenix)
  3. Brittany Force (Gainesville)
  4. Antron Brown (Las Vegas 1)
  5. Doug Kalitta (Houston)
  6. Shawn Langdon (Bristol)
  7. Tony Schumacher (Denver)
  8. To be determined by fan vote

TRAXXAS NITRO SHOOTOUT (FUNNY CAR)

  1. Ron Capps (Pomona 1)
  2. Tim Wilkerson (Phoenix)
  3. Robert Hight (Gainesville)
  4. Alexis DeJoria (Las Vegas 1)
  5. Courtney Force (Houston)
  6. Matt Hagan (Atlanta)
  7. Tommy Johnson Jr. (Bristol)
  8. To be determined by fan vote

The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel will take place Saturday, Sept. 3, with rounds at 4, 5:15 and 8 p.m.

The Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Funny Car will be held Sunday, Sept. 4, with rounds at 12:30, 3 and 4:45 p.m.

Getting back to Force, he’s a two-time Shootout winner (2012 and 2014). Teammate Robert Hight has finished runner-up in the last two Shootouts (lost to Force in 2014 and to Jack Beckman in 2015).

Force has participated in 28 All-Star bonus races in his career and won specialty races eight times (1987, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2000, 2006, 2012 and 2014). Force has earned over $1.25 million in All-Star specialty race prize money.

As for the video that goes with this article, Force told the backstory.

“I am learning Twitter and the internet but I still have a lot to figure out,” he said. “Fans can vote for me on the NHRA’s Facebook page after Brainerd and until the Tuesday before Indy. I wanted to make a funny video showing me messing around with my team, Courtney, Brittany and my grandkids but that also showed what I am good at which is driving this PEAK Chevy Funny Car and winning races.”

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Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.