NHRA Champion John Force Hospitalized Following Car Explosion on Track


National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Champion John Force was hospitalized on Sunday after his Peak Team funny car exploded in a fireball during the first round of eliminations at the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.

As Force’s car crossed the finish line, his engine exploded, causing the vehicle to careen back and forth from one wall to the other like a fiery pinball. The 75-year-old racing legend was able to exit the car under his own power and was alert and talking to rescue workers before being taken to the hospital.

According to Autoweek, Force had reached a speed of 302.62 mph during the run. The NHRA reported that Force’s car suffered an engine explosion at the finish line and then crossed the centerline, striking both guard walls before coming to a stop.

Force, a 16-time NHRA championship title holder and 22-time racing team owner, was examined onsite by the NHRA Medical Team before being transported to a local medical facility for further evaluation.

John Force

Force’s daughter, two-time Top Fuel champion Brittany Force, said her father would be okay, stating, “My dad’s going to be all right. I was in the ambulance with him, holding his hand. And he’s one of the toughest people I know. So he’ll bounce back like he always does.”

Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier Shawn Langdon added, “We love what we do, but we’re all thinking about John at this point.”

Warner Todd Huston
Warner Todd Huston
Warner Todd Huston has been writing editorials and news since 2001 but started his writing career penning articles about U.S. history back in the early 1990s. Huston has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN and several local Chicago news programs to discuss the issues of the day. Additionally, he is a regular guest on radio programs from coast to coast. Warner works out of the Chicago area.

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