Racing Legend John Force Hospitalized After Car Crashes

John Force, a drag racer inducted into the Hall of Fame, was injured on Sunday when his vehicle burst into flames at the finish line at Virginia Motorsports Park.

On Sunday, during the NHRA Virginia Nationals, Force was involved in a violent collision that sent him to the hospital.

After his Funny Car crashed into the outer retaining walls, the 75-year-old racing great had to be removed from the vehicle. He was sent to a medical facility for “further evaluation.” 

Although the statement noted that Force was aware of and interacting with members of the NHRA safety team following the incident, it did not detail the nature of his injuries, only that he was “injured” in the crash.

When it comes to the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), Force is unrivaled. Throughout his stellar career in the NHRA, he won 157 races and 16 Funny Car championships. From 1991 until 2004, Force won a total of twelve NHRA titles, beginning with his maiden triumph in 1990.

Even though he hasn’t won a championship since 2013, he’s right behind fellow JFR driver Austin Prock in the points and has won two of 2024’s first eight Funny Car events.

All three of Force’s daughters have raced at the highest levels of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), and he started racing professionally in 1978. 

Brittany Force races a Top Fuel dragster for her dad’s team, while Ashley Force Hood and Courtney Force have retired from driving.

Force’s career has been littered with horrific wrecks, like the one that happened on Sunday. In 2007, Force was hurt at the Fall Nationals in Ennis, Texas. He shattered his ankle and dislocated his wrist. Due to his injuries, Force missed the remainder of the season.

The fatal testing collision of JFR driver Eric Medlen occurred in March of that year, barely months before Force’s accident that year. When Medlen’s automobile began to experience catastrophic tire shake, he subsequently suffered a brain injury and passed away.

When it comes to Funny Car drag racing, Force is a living legend. His 157 wins span 46 years of racing, the most recent being three weeks ago in New Hampshire.

“Funny Car” refers to a subset of sanctioned quarter-mile drag races. Car bodywork is often constructed on a bespoke chassis with an upward tilt. Funny Cars differ from standard drag cars in that they use front-mounted motors.