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Racing News: Courtney Force Recognized by ESPN The Magazine


  Courtney Force. Photo: Ford Driving Skills for Life

Courtney Force Recognized by ESPN The Magazine "NEXT" Athlete
Every year since 1998, ESPN The Magazine has recognized an elite group of emerging athletes to watch in the year ahead—athletes they call "NEXT." They are competitors not only on the cusp of stardom, but also on the verge of transcending their sports. NEXT is what happens when the hype is real. This year, John Force Racing driver Courtney Force is in the motorsports group going head to head with Darrell Wallace Jr. (NASCAR), Chase Elliot (NASCAR), Ryan Truex (NASCAR) and Josef Newgarden (Indy Car) as the NEXT big driver in motorsports.

Force has spent the 2011 season testing her BrandSource Ford Mustang Funny Car with plans to race full-time on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series in 2012. An official announcement about Force’s future has not been made by John Force Racing. She began her racing career in the Super Comp ranks in 2006 and has steadily moved up through the ranks following a similar career path as her older sister Ashley Force Hood, who is a four-time Funny Car national event winner, including back-to-back Mac Tools U.S. Nationals titles in 2009 and 2010.

Voting for the NEXT athlete competition ends December 18, 2011.

Flowmaster to Sponsor All-New NMCA WEST Street Car Series Through 2013
Flowmaster Inc. and ProMedia Events have announced that Flowmaster will be the series sponsor of the all-new NMCA WEST Street Car Series through the 2013 season. NMCA West will debut in 2012 as a four-event championship series catering to the growing West Coast drag-racing scene.

  • Auto Club Dragway – Fontana, California – April 20–22
  • 2012 Famoso Dragway – Bakersfield, California – June 22–24
  • 2012 Speed World Dragway – Phoenix – September 28–30
  • 2012 Auto Club Dragway – Fontana, California – October 19–21, 2012

Stay tuned for a complete list of NMCA WEST race classes, rules and special announcements.

  The 2.0L Acura RSX is eligible for National competition in STL for 2012. Photo: Mark Weber/SCCA

SCCA Includes Super Touring Lite in National Club Racing Program
Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Board of Directors approved the addition of the previously regional-only Super Touring Lite (STL) class to National competition in 2012. STL will be included as a separate class for events during the season and then participate within the Super Touring Under (STU) class at the National Championship Runoffs.

Super Touring Lite represents a significant group of cars not currently able to compete in the SafeRacer SCCA National Racing Series. The class features cars less than two liters in displacement with permitted engine swaps; aerodynamic components such as wings and splitters; brake upgrades; and aftermarket suspension components riding on DOT-approved tires.

For 2012, STL will run in each National race, grouped with STU but counted separately as any other national-level class. Drivers qualifying for the National Championship Runoffs in STL will be invited to compete in STU with their STL cars. The intention is for STL to have its own National Championship race in 2013, in conjunction with planned class realignment in the Super Touring, Touring and Showroom Stock categories.

The SafeRacer National Racing Series, as well as the BFGoodrich Tires Super Tour, begins January 6–8 at Sebring International Raceway.

  Michael Meeks won in the LSX Drag Radial class by a slim five-point margin over runner-up Mark Carlyle.

LSX Challenge Series Heats the Tires for 2012
The Chevrolet Performance LSX Challenge Series is back for 2012. Chevrolet Performance enables racers to compete and win with a growing range of LSX maximum-performance crate engines and engine parts, including the LSX454R racing engine. Chevrolet Performance also offers LSX Bowtie blocks—with the tall-deck version for building large-displacement engines of up to 500 ci—as well new drag-race six-bolt cylinder heads, intake manifolds and forged rotating components.

Chevrolet Performance will award the fastest LS-powered racers at the LSX Shootout event and pay a $250 bonus to any racer who wins his or her category using an LSX Bowtie engine block. Chevrolet Performance will also supply awards to all racing class and show class winners.

The champions of the landmark 2011 season—the first to feature the four-race format—include:

  • Michael Meeks in the LSX Drag Radial class, who won by a slim five-point margin over runner-up Mark Carlyle.
  • Jud Massingill in the LSX All Motor class. His Camaro runs in the low-eight-second range without a power adder.
  • Adam Preston in the Real Street class. His Camaro is a mid-eight-second performer.
  • Rob Farley in the LSX Rumble class, who topped more than 80 racers who accumulated points in the competitive class throughout the season.
  • Shawn Calabrese in the 5th-Gen Camaro Challenge class. His tuned Camaro SS ran low 12s at the start of the season and kept going quicker.

The four-race LSX Challenge Series for the 2012 season includes:

  • March 15–18 (NMCA season opener) at Bradenton Motorsports Park, Bradenton, Florida
  • June 1–3 (Chevy High Performance Nationals) at Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Georgia
  • October 11–14 (NMCA World Finals/LSX Shootout), at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Indianapolis

The fourth event will be the LS Fest, September 7–9, 2012, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at Beech Bend Raceway. As in the past, LS Fest organizers will allow racers to follow the rules and classes of the LSX Challenge Series, with points awarded during competition applying to the championship.

Racers competing for the championship must participate in three of the four races, including the LSX Shootout. The results of each race will be tracked throughout the season in NMCA’s Fastest Street Car.

The LSX Challenge Series features five racing classes:

  • LSX Drag Radial
  • LSX All Motor
  • LSX Real Street
  • LSX Rumble (index)
  • 5th-Gen Camaro Challenge