Courtney Force performs one of best burnouts you’ll ever see

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John Force has taught his racing daughters – Ashley (retired), Brittany and Courtney – quite a few lessons about drag racing over the years.

One of the most important lessons Papa John has imparted on his daughters is how to do a major league burnout. After all, the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion is the undisputed king of burnouts in the sport.

It’s obvious his daughters have learned their lessons well, particularly Courtney.

Having just celebrated the one-year anniversary of her wedding to Verizon IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal, Courtney Force had a chance a few days ago to put her burnout talents on display.

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And boy, did she ever. She generated so much smoke from her rear tires that the fire department should have been on hand.

We’re almost ready to say that if John is the king of burnouts, Courtney is now the queen.

Courtney was loaned a brand new, red-hot (both its paint scheme, as well as the 650 horses it has under the hood) 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to do some burnouts and quarter-mile passes at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

She literally smoked the tires off the Camaro with one of the most spectacular burnouts you’ll ever see come from a street car. If you think NASCAR drivers do great burnouts, wait until you see when Courtney mashed the pedal. Her car disappeared for several seconds in a massive display of burnout smoke before re-emerging.

“The best part about racing is the burnout,” Courtney Force said from behind the wheel. “For me, this is like a dream come true car. It’s a street-legal car that you can take right from the street and take it to a drag strip and race it.”

Thankfully, cameras were on hand to record the fun Courtney had, with NHRA reporter Amanda Busick – who appeared a bit apprehensive before climbing into the car – riding shotgun.

Force, who recently signed a multi-year major sponsorship deal with Advance Auto Parts, consistently ran sub-eight second laps at over 100 mph in her flashy Chevy.

Needless to say, the fun only served to further whet Courtney’s appetite for the 2017 NHRA racing season, which begins in less than two months with the season-opening Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway.

“I’m already looking forward to testing in Phoenix (in late January),” said Courtney Force, who finished sixth in 2016, but has much higher goals for 2017.

“We’re going for a championship and I can’t wait to get to testing,” she said with a big smile on her face.

Here’s the video once again:

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Robert Wickens in the Indy 500? Bryan Herta making plans to field a car for next year

Robert Wickens Indy 500
Brett Farmer/LAT Images/IMSA
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Bryan Herta wants to enter Robert Wickens in the Indy 500 as early as 2024 – a year longer than preferred as work continues on the hand controls needed for the paralyzed driver.

Wickens suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash at Pocono Raceway in his 2018 IndyCar rookie season. He’s worked as a driver coach for the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team since, but last year with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai returned to racing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

The 33-year-old Canadian won a pair of races (including the season opener at Daytona) driving a Hyundai Elantra N-TCR that is fitted for Wickens to race strictly through hand controls. Herta said Thursday that perfecting that technology for an Indy car in the biggest race in the world has slowed the project he’s determined to do with Wickens.

‘I’M AS HUNGRY AS EVER’: Robert Wickens’ return to racing

“I’d love to take Robbie back to Indy because I know he could do that, and I think that would be a next step for him in his journey,” Herta told The Associated Press. “We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the logistical side of things, hand controls, and I think we have solutions for that.”

Herta said Honda has been supportive of the process, which Herta called “one of the most important things we’ve done in racing” last year.

“We actually looked at doing it this year, but the logistics of it, the timing, it just wasn’t enough,” Herta said. “That’s not something you can rush. There’s some things that we have to work very closely with IndyCar on, and things we just have to get right. It’s a process, but I can see a path to it.”

Wickens, when told his boss was openly discussing the Indy 500, grinned widely. Herta as a team owner won the Indianapolis 500 with Dan Wheldon and Alexander Rossi.

“That’d be fun,” he said of running the Indy 500.

But like Herta, Wickens said the effort has to be both done correctly and be competitive.

“We’d like to do it right. If we started right now, can we get a car ready for the open test in April? Probably,” Wickens told The AP. “But I don’t know where the systems would be and I want to get on proper simulators to make sure its correct.

“We all want to do a proper, professional effort,” he added. “I don’t want to do it for a marketing campaign. I want to do it for a chance to win.”

Wickens later tweeted about the possibility of racing the Indy 500 and said his goal was “always to get back to the top level of motorsport” whether it’s IndyCar or IMSA.

Wickens in 2021 did a demonstration in Canada that marketed advancements for paralyzed drivers and gave him a chance to again drive. His entire life had been upended 14 races into his rookie IndyCar season, just three months after winning top rookie honors at the Indianapolis 500.

Wickens has since married, returned to racing last year and welcomed the birth of his first child, an son named Wesley whom is infatuated with both race cars and the trip to Disney he took this week during the off days at Daytona International Speedway.

Wickens, who uses a wheelchair but can stand with some support, marks a full year back racing on Friday in the season-opening IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. Despite success last season, Herta made changes to his lineups and Wickens this year will be teamed with Harry Gottsacker.