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

1 Comment

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.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Alex Marquez wins first MotoGP #StayAtHomeGP Virtual Race

Leave a comment

Alex Marquez of Spain won the inaugural MotoGP #StayAtHomeGP Virtual Race as the world’s premier bike racing series followed other motorsports into online racing.

The #StayAtHomeGP, which was streamed Sunday on several platforms including the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel, featured a field of 10 riders competing on their console gaming systems at home.

Francesco Bagnaia was the runner-up, and Maverick Vinales rounded out the podium.

INDYCAR iRACING: Sage Karam wins Watkins Glen opener

Defending MotoGP premier series champion Marc Marquez, the older brother of the rookie race winner and his teammate at Repsol Honda Team, finished fifth.

Here’s a recap of the race from the MotoGP site.

The premier class of MotoGP has yet to hit the track this season as its opener was canceled and the next three races were postponed, including the Grand Prix of the Americas being moved from April 5 to Nov. 15.

Several other racing series have tried online racing in recent weeks.

IMSA held a “SuperSaturday at Sebring” March 21 in place of the postponed Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of SebringNASCAR started its Pro Invitational Series last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will continue Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. IndyCar kicked off its six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge with a Saturday race at Watkins Glen International that was won by Sage Karam.