Drag Racer John Force's Doctors Monitoring Head Injury After Recent Crash

Drag Racing Champion John Force Remains in ICU After Fiery Crash
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UPDATE, 6/26/24 at 9:18 a.m. ET:

Drag racer John Force has been moved to the neurological intensive care unit following a three-day stay in the trauma care unit after a fiery crash in Virginia on June 23.

The medical team hopes to “focus on his head injury which is their primary concern,” a Thursday June 27 statement released by John Force Racing via X read. “The move was a welcome positive for his family members, who had maintained a daily presence at the hospital all week.”

The statement concluded: “The Force family are grateful for the team of medical professionals who are caring for John, and for the overwhelming number of heartfelt messages of prayer, support, and concern. Thank you for continuing to respect the privacy of the family and John Force Racing team members.”

Original story continues below:

Legendary racer John Force is still in the ICU after he was involved in a fiery crash at the Virginia Motorsports Park on Sunday, June 23.

“Drag race champion John Force remained in the intensive care unit at a Virginia hospital on Monday,” read a Monday, June 24, statement released by John Force Racing via X. “Following a catastrophic engine failure that sent his Funny Car slamming into a concrete guard wall at 302 miles per hour during the first round of Sunday’s NHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.”

Force’s engine exploded as he was crossing the finish line at the Petersburg, Virginia, racing venue. The vehicle hit both walls of the racetrack due to the impact. Safety personnel “extricated and stabilized” Force before he was transported to a local hospital via a medical helicopter. Force, 75, was conscious and communicative with the rescue team at the scene.

The statement added that the 16-time champion was still being “observed and evaluated” as of Monday.

“Attending doctors purposely were moving slowly in assessing the extent of the injuries of the Hall of Fame owner and driver because of the intensity of the impact,” the statement continued. “Medical staff will not provide a treatment and recovery timetable until a total evaluation is complete.”

Force’s family, which includes wife Laurie and daughters Brittany, Adria, Ashley and Courtney, joined him at the hospital. The family will appear at the next competition event in Norwalk, Ohio, to represent Force’s team.

Drag Racing Champion John Force Remains in ICU After Fiery Crash

John Force prepares to drive at zMax Dragway
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

Brittany, who is also a drag racer, was racing the same day that her father’s accident occurred and witnessed the incident.

“My dad’s going to be all right. I was in the ambulance with him, holding his hand,” Brittany said to Autoweek on Sunday. “And he’s one of the toughest people I know. So he’ll bounce back, like he always does.”

After going to the hospital with her dad, Brittany, who had won the first round, returned to the track to compete in the semifinal race later that day.

“It’s something that’s tough. We know that’s a part of the drill. That’s how this sport goes,” Brittany said of getting back into the car after seeing what happened to Force. “I wouldn’t be his daughter if I wasn’t back up here in that car, trying to win this thing with this team for him.”

This isn’t Force’s first crash in his career. In 2007, the racer was injured at O’Reilly Auto Parts Fall Nationals in Ennis, Texas. After getting into a collision with Kenny Bernstein at the finish line, Force was airlifted to treat his injuries.

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