Graham Rahal, Courtney Force kick off another year supporting each other’s races

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Verizon IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal and his wife NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car driver Courtney Force always try to make it to each other’s races when they’re not competing themselves in their own series.

Another year of the two of them jet-setting to support the other has officially got underway this weekend, as Rahal flew out Saturday night from the IndyCar test at Phoenix International Raceway to support Force’s first race of the season at Pomona.

Force made it to the finals but lost to Matt Hagan there at the Winternationals.

Force had been at Rahal’s first race of 2017 as well, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, where Rahal was an extra driver on the Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona class. The IndyCar season kicks off at St. Petersburg on March 12.

As you can see from the below schedule, even though Rahal (17-race IndyCar schedule) and Force (24-race NHRA schedule) have less than 25 race weekends for their own series, they’ll likely both be on the road more than that, going to each other’s events.

Here’s weekends where just one of the two is racing:

Feb. 26 – NHRA, Phoenix (Courtney)
March 12 – IndyCar, St. Petersburg (Graham)
March 19 – NHRA, Gainesville (Courtney)
April 2- NHRA, Las Vegas (Courtney)
April 9 – IndyCar, Long Beach (Graham)
May 7 – NHRA, Atlanta (Courtney)
May 13-28 – IndyCar, Indianapolis (Graham)
May 21 – NHRA, Topeka (Courtney)
June 18 – NHRA, Bristol (Courtney)
July 16 – IndyCar, Toronto (Graham)
July 23 – NHRA, Denver (Courtney)
August 6 – NHRA, Seattle (Courtney)
August 27 – IndyCar, Gateway (Graham)
Sept. 24 – NHRA, Gateway (Courtney)
Oct. 1 – NHRA, Reading (Courtney)
Oct. 15 – NHRA, Dallas (Courtney)
Oct. 29 – NHRA, Las Vegas (Courtney)
Nov. 12 – NHRA, Pomona (Courtney)

Race weekends where both drivers are racing

April 23 – IndyCar, Barber (Graham) and NHRA, Houston (Courtney)
April 30 – IndyCar, Phoenix (Graham) and NHRA, Charlotte (Courtney)*
June 4 – IndyCar, Detroit (Graham) and NHRA, Epping (Courtney)
June 11 – IndyCar, Texas (Graham) and NHRA, Englishtown (Courtney)*
June 25 – IndyCar, Road America (Graham) and NHRA, Norwalk (Courtney)
July 9 – IndyCar, Iowa (Graham) and NHRA, Chicago (Courtney)
July 30 – IndyCar, Mid-Ohio (Graham) and NHRA, Sonoma (Courtney)
August 20 – IndyCar, Pocono (Graham) and NHRA, Brainerd (Courtney)
Sept. 3 – IndyCar, Watkins Glen (Graham) and NHRA, Indianapolis (Courtney)*
Sept. 17 – IndyCar, Sonoma (Graham) and NHRA, Charlotte (Courtney)

*Finals for NHRA are a day later than the IndyCar race

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.