NHRA President Tom Compton introduced Courtney Force, center, and Alexis DeJoria to the motorsports media in Charlotte.
Force and DeJoria will battle for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, presented annually to the season's top rookie.
NHRA introduced two of the most intriguing rookie drivers in the history of the sport to the national motorsports media today during a press conference conducted as part of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. The legendary multipurpose motorsports facility annually hosts two NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events at its spectacular zMAX Dragway.
Rookie Funny Car drivers Alexis DeJoria and Courtney Force, both an important part of NHRA’s Nitro Generation theme for 2012, joined NHRA President Tom Compton during the season-preview press event, which was held in front of more than 100 of the nation’s top motorsports journalists.
DeJoria, daughter of famed entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria, will drive the Tequila Patron Toyota Camry, and Force, youngest daughter of 15-time NHRA world champ John Force, will pilot the Traxxas Ford Mustang. The two drivers will be among the top contenders for the prestigious Auto Club Road to the Future Award, which annually recognizes NHRA’s top-performing rookie driver.
The two drivers fielded questions from reporters about the challenges and expectations for their upcoming seasons and posed for photographs alongside a specially wrapped Funny Car that featured the NHRA Nitro Generation design. NHRA also showed a high-energy video to the media that focused on the thrilling 300-mph performances, powerful side-by-side racing, and close finishes that make NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing one of the most intense motorsports attractions on the planet.
Later in the afternoon, many of the journalists attending the weeklong media tour will participate in an NHRA Full Throttle Media Challenge Drag Race at zMAX Dragway. Media members will race in identically prepared street-ready Ford Mustangs, and DeJoria and Force will serve as driving coaches. DeJoria and Force also will race in the stock Mustangs in an exhibition prior to the media challenge race.
The highly anticipated rookie battle begins Feb. 9-12 at the 52nd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. The tradition-rich race is the first of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series for 2012. For tickets, log on to www.NHRATix.com or call 800-884-NHRA (6472).