NHRA’s Antron Brown and Steve Torrence are hooked after their first off-road race

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If NHRA Top Fuel drivers Antron Brown and Steve Torrence are still a little bit sore in the saddle going into this weekend’s NHRA Gatornationals, there’s a good reason.

Brown and Torrence – they competed under the “Chocolate and Creme Race Team” moniker devised by Brown – took part in last Saturday’s Mint 400 off-road race in Primm, Nevada.

There’s good news and bad news on how their maiden off-road racing effort went.

NHRA Top Fuel drivers Steve Torrence, left, and Antron Brown are ready to go off-road racing again.

The good news: Brown completed the whole 117-mile first lap of the three-lap event with no problem.

“Woo, that was a rough one,” Brown said after completing his lap. “A to the B made it, though. I’m praying for Steve, he doesn’t know what’s ahead of him. That’s some rough stuff out there.”

Now the bad news: as it turned out, Torrence had problems when he took his turn behind the wheel of the Polaris RZR off-road buggy. Torrence got 13 miles into his 117-mile lap when the steering broke.

Steve and his co-driver were able to limp the car 16 miles into Pit B where they fixed the steering and sent Torrence back on his way.

Unfortunately, the steering broke again – and gave up the ghost for the remainder of the event – at the 58 mile marker.

“What an awesome experience,” Torrence said afterward. “It was a damn good time.”

While it was the first time either Brown or Torrence competed in an off-road race, it won’t be the last. Both drivers are ready to do it again later this year.

“Round 2 is going to happen this year,” Torrence said. “I’m hooked. The meat hooks are in me for off-road racing.”

Said Brown, “It beats you down, way down. But, I’m coming back. I’m going to get meaner and leaner. We’re going to do some more testing. We had good speed. I need to work on my corners a little bit better. They were way better at the end, for sure. I know what to expect now.”

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Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”