Sarah Stierch Sarah Stierch is the Food + Drink Editor of the Sun (with occasional visits to other areas of the paper). Stierch has eaten, drunk, and written her way through 13 countries and the hottest food trends and communities in the USA. She's also a racing and travel geek, venturing beyond food/booze to cover subjects that connect to Sonoma Valley, such as IndyCar racing and other wine making regions. Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, the Independent, Salon, Gawker, Smithsonian and on National Public Radio, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


Race car drivers turn grape stompers

Posted on July 22, 2015 by Sarah Stierch
Force vs. Rahal at Sonoma Raceway (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Force vs. Rahal at Sonoma Raceway (Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Race car drivers Courtney Force and Graham Rahal stomped grapes today in a wacky promo stunt to promote the upcoming NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.

Force is the winningest female driver in NHRA history and Rahal is second in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings. They aren’t only two of the greatest drivers in the race world, but, they’re also a couple, engaged to be married later this year. Both will be driving at the track in the future – Force at the Sonoma Nationals and Rahal at the IndyCar Verizon Race in August.

Pitted against each other at the track, they competed in a remote control car race, a simulated IndyCar race at Simraceway, and finally, a grape stomping contest.

Both drivers won the contests appropriate for their careers – Force won the remote control drag race and Rahal took the checkered flag during the simulated Indy Car race. However, the winner for the entire challenge, including the grape stomp, would be Force.

Force took home the glory after stomping grapes for three minutes in wine barrels. Whoever produced the most juice won – and that was Force! She receive a magnum of Korbel sparkling wine as her reward.

“We’re both really competitive, but we’ve never gotten to do something head-to-head like this. It’s neat to do this together and try out each others’ disciplines. And, of course, I’m very glad I won.”- Courtney Force

The NHRA Sonoma Nationals are July 31-Aug 2 at Sonoma Raceway.

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