John Force alert after fiery crash at Virginia Motorsports Park

DINWIDDIE, Va. (AP) — NHRA great John Force was alert and talking to safety workers immediately after a fiery, 300-mph crash Sunday in the Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.

John Force Racing said the 75-year-old Force was examined at the track by the NHRA Medical Team before being transported by medical helicopter to a facility for further evaluation.

During the first round of Funny Car eliminations, the engine exploded Force’s car at the finish line, with the vehicle going across the centerline and striking the left concrete guard wall, then careening back across into the right wall.

Three weeks ago in New Hampshire, Force raced to his record 157th NHRA victory and second of the season. Force, who is from Bell Gardens, and whose racing company is based in Yorba Linda, has been in serious accidents before. In 2007 at age 58, Force was seriously injured in a racing crash in Ennis, Texas.

“We’re keeping our pal John Force in our thought and prayers. He’s one tough cookie,” Tony Stewart, the former NASCAR star who now races in NHRA’s Top Fuel class, said on social media.

On Sunday, long after Force’s accident, teammate Austin Prock won the Funny Car division, topping Bob Tasca III in the final round.

“(The trophy) is going straight to the hospital to John Force,” Prock said from the winners’ circle.

“It’s just tough to see somebody go through that, especially when it’s somebody you really care about, but I know he’ll be back. We’re race car drivers and we have to flip the switch. I know John wanted us to be out here, going rounds and I’m glad we did our job.”

John Force Racing issued a statement on X (formerly twitter) that said he “was consicous and talking to NHRA Safety Safari personnel immediately following the crash. He was transported to a nearby Medical Center for further evaluation in the ICU.”

BREAKING NOW: Legendary NHRA champion John Force suffers HORRIFIC CRASH while qualifying in Virginia..


— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) June 23, 2024

— John Force Racing (@JFR_Racing) June 24, 2024


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