Racing Veteran John Force Released From Hospital After Brutal NHRA Crash
NHRA drag racer and 16-time Funny Car champion John Force has been released from the hospital after a moderately heinous crash Sunday evening at the Arizona Nationals. The 68-year-old strip veteran was going head to head with Jonnie Lindberg when his engine exploded just feet from the finish line.
Fortunately, John won the race but the explosion blew apart the car’s bodywork and sent him into Lindberg’s lane. The vehicles collided as Force’s Chevy-powered dragster slammed into the far wall. Lindberg’s car, slowed by the initial impact and now entangled in the other vehicle’s parachute chord, was hit from behind a second time before both vehicles skidded to a stop against the opposite wall. The much older Force was transported to Chandler Regional Hospital as a precaution, while Lindberg was given a clean bill of health onsite.
“I got up and walked away,” Lindberg told Fox News. “I felt good and the doctors came to my trailer to check me out and told me that I’m good.”
With no serious injuries, Force was released from the hospital later that evening. He returned to the track to congratulate youngest daughter Courtney on winning the event’s Funny Car category in his absence.
The accident follows a similar incident several weeks prior where his other daughter, reigning Top Fuel champion Brittany Force, veered into the wall immediately after launch. Now recovered, she claims to have no memory of the crash.
John claims safety advancements are what kept his wreck on Sunday from being more severe. In 2007, he suffered a blowout near the finish line of the Texas Motorplex that caused him to collide with Kenny Bernstein’s Dodge. Force was airlifted from the site and entered into six hours of reconstructive surgery. He also had to undergo months of rehab before returning to the driver’s seat. It was his belief that he might have had to endure that again, were it not for the structural improvements engineered into his car since then.
“This was a great day for John Force Racing,” he said after returning to the track. “Brittany came back from a crash at Pomona and won first round and Courtney won Funny Car for Advance Auto Parts. My struggles continue, but I’m a big boy, I’ll fix it.”
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Not a big fan (or non-fan) of drag racing, but man, John Force is a FORCE! Glad he's OK.
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