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Racing News: John Force to Be Inducted Into California Sports Hall of Fame

Compiled by SEMA Editors

John Force

John Force to Be Inducted Into California Sports Hall of Fame

Sixteen-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion John Force will be inducted into the California Sports Hall of Fame (CSHOF) during a ceremony June 25, 2017, at Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California. Force, who recently signed what has been described as a “lifetime contract” with PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil to continue driving, will become the first in motorsports to join the Hall. Force holds a number of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series records, including most championships (16), most victories (148) and most No. 1 qualifiers (155). Force, 67, added to those numbers last month when he won the NHRA Gatornationals from the No. 1 spot at Gainesville Raceway. John Force Racing currently fields four full-time race cars in NHRA: John Force’s PEAK Chevrolet Camaro SS, Robert Hight’s Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Funny Car, Courtney Force’s Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet and Brittany Force’s Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster. Force was enshrined in the Motor Sports Hall of Fame of America in Novi, Michigan, in 2008, and in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, Alabama, in 2012. Other members of the California Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 include sports agent Leigh Steinberg, NFL star James Lofton, Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan and NBA star Byron Scott.

General Tire Renews Team Lucas Partnership

General Tire has renewed its multi-year partnership with Team Lucas. The partnership, now more than 11 years in the making, allows General Tire to maintain its support of a variety of motorsports series and television related events. Through the extensive partnership, General Tire will continue as the presenting sponsor of the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals held each January in Tulsa. The brand will also continue as the “Official Tire” of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series, and the title sponsor of the season opening General Tire Duel in the Desert presented by Optima Batteries held at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Arizona, April 22–23. General Tire will also maintain a presence in several other racing series, including: Lucas Oil Late Model Series, Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series, Lucas Oil Modified Series, Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League and Lucas Oil Drag Boat Series. General Tire will continue the support of “King of the Cage” and other programming on MAVTV, in addition to signage at the Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri.

Forrest Wang defeated Alex Heilbrunn in the Motegi Racing Super Drift finals.

Wang Takes Motegi Racing Super Drift Victory

Formula DRIFT returned to Long Beach to host the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge as part of the 43rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. In the finals, Matt Field in the Falken Tire/Vapetasia /ARK Performance Nissan 240 defeated Alex Heilbrunn in the IMR/Nitto Tire BMW M3. Night Two of the doubleheader weekend pitted Heilbrunn against Dean Kearney in the Oracle Lighting Dodge Viper. Heilbrunn’s consistency helped put him back into the finals for the second consecutive evening. Forrest Wang in the Get Nuts Lab/Zestino Tires Nissan 240 defeated Jhonnattan Castro in the Gerdau Metaldom/Nexen Toyota GT86 in the semi-finals. Wang took advantage of car issues that Heilbrunn experienced to beat him and take the win, while giving Heilbrunn yet another second-place finish during the weekend. The action continues to Round 2: Unchartered Territory at Orlando Speed World, April 28–29.

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams scored a one-two finish in the 100-minute IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at the Grand Prix of Long Beach last Saturday.

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Teams Finish One-Two in Grand Prix of Long Beach

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams scored a one-two finish in the 100-minute IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at the Grand Prix of Long Beach last Saturday. Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette co-drove the No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 to victory, their first in the 2017 IMSA season. The championship-leading No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Mercedes-AMG GT3, co-driven by Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen, finished the race in second position. Next up for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is Round 4 at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), May 4–6.

thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America Expands Sponsorship in Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series

thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America has announced it is expanding into the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) Pro 2 and Pro 4 classes. For the 2017 racing season, all sponsored racers will run BILSTEIN M 9200 (Coilover) and M 9200 (Bypass) shock absorbers (with the exception of the Mod Kart class). The 2017 BILSTEIN Race Team includes: Mod Kart: Cole Keats/Pro Buggy: Darren Hardesty (2016 Class Champion) Pro Lite: Jerett Brooks (2016 Class Champion), Ryan Beat, Cole Mamer/Pro 2: Brooks, Doug Mittag, Pro 4: Mittag.

In his ’93 Mustang, Jacky McCarty defeated Jarod Wenrick in the finals in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw.

2017 NMRA Keystone Automotive Drag Racing Series Results

The results from last weekend’s NMRA Keystone Automotive Drag Racing Series held in Commerce, Georgia:

VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw: Jacky McCarty faced off against Jarod Wenrick in the finals, and his 4.435 at 169.87 mph pass in his ’93 Mustang sealed the win for McCarty.

Edelbrock Renegade: Aaron Bates came out on top when his DMC Racing-built, ProCharged 360-cid ’87 Mustang bested the rest with a 7.397 at 186.98 mph hit.

ProCharger Coyote Modified: John Kauderer and his UDMC Racing, MMR-powered ’14 Cobra Jet defeated Tommy Annunziata in his Coyote-powered ’14 Cobra Jet Mustang.

Richmond Gear Factory Stock: Dan Ryntz and his ’89 Mustang finished the weekend by defeating Matt Amrine in the finals, 10.768 at 122.64 mph to 11.052 at 124.60 mph.

G-Force Racing Transmissions Coyote Stock: Jacob Lamb drove his ’86 Mustang, picking up the class win for the All-Star Nationals race for the second year in a row, beating Tyler Eichhorn in the finals.

Detroit Locker Truck & Lightning: Randy Conway in his ’84 Ford Ranger took the win in each of the five elimination rounds.

Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle: Donnie Bowles took the win over Gary Parker in the finals with a 10.037 at 132.67 mph number on his 10.02 dial.

Roush Performance Super Stang: Marvin Knack and his ’11 Mustang GT had a slight hole-shot advantage and finished with a successful 11.933 at 102.55 mph run on an 11.87 dial-in.

Aerospace Components Open Comp: Dennis Corn took the win light with his ’88 Thunderbird. Ultimately, Corn was able to get past everyone who he lined up against, and was crowned the class victor.

Race Pages Ford Muscle: Bryan Parker was the last man standing, thanks to a winning 12.132 at 106.27 mph final trip in his ’68 Mustang on a 12.00 index.

Open Comp Shootout: Bruce Boyle faced Don Fenlon in the final elimination round, but when Fenlon red lighted with a -0.026-second reaction time, the win lights illuminated in Boyle’s lane and he clocked a 9.019 at 148.99 mph pass on his 9.07 index to make it official.

Sealed Stock Shootout: Shane Stymiest went head-to-head against Tim Matherly in the final, where Stymiest took the win, 10.31 at 128 mph to 10.33 at 128 mph.

QA1 True Street: David Kwigist took the overall win with his ’67 Mustang and an average elapsed time of 9.145-seconds. Runner-up honors went to Jason Wagoner who averaged 9.842 seconds in his ’93 SVT Cobra. In the 9-second category, Jason Beardslee took the win on a 9.868-second average in his ’14 Mustang. Gregory Trail was the quickest of the 10-second group as his ’03 Cobra averaged 10.959 seconds, while David Biersch and his ’92 Mustang LX took the win in the 11-second bunch with an 11.464-second average. The 12-second win went to Philip Switzer and his ’00 Mustang, the 13-second win was earned by Jorge Flores driving his ’06 Mustang GT, the quickest in the 14-second section was the ’16 Mustang belonging to Chris Parisi, and Jerry Jones rounded out the pack when he and his ’98 Mustang GT took the 15-second trophy.

Next up, NMRA heads to Reading, Pennsylvania, May 4–7, 2017, for the 17th Annual WyoTech NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.