Force injured in shop accident; will miss Auto Club finals. YORBA LINDA, Calif. -- John Force, drag racing's biggest winner and owner of the Castrol SYNTEC0 Ford in which Tony Pedregon last week clinched the 2003 NHRA POWERade Funny Car ...
Force injured in shop accident; will miss Auto Club finals.
YORBA LINDA, Calif. -- John Force, drag racing's biggest winner and owner of the Castrol SYNTEC0 Ford in which Tony Pedregon last week clinched the 2003 NHRA POWERade Funny Car Championship, suffered injuries Wednesday night that will preclude him from driving next week in the season-ending Automobile Club of Southern California World Finals at Pomona, Calif.
Force, 54, was moving a crystal trophy he was presented for winning an NHRA Winston Invitational bonus race when it shattered as he set it down. The 109-time tour winner suffered serious injuries to both hands including lacerations that required 40 stitches to close.
The 12-time NHRA Funny Car Champion was treated at Placentia Linda Hospital Wednesday night and released.
"The doctor said no way I can drive," Force said, "and he doesn't know how long it'll be before I can sign an autograph."
Ironically, this is the worst injury suffered by the 11-time Auto Racing All-America selection in his 30-year racing career and the only one that will cause him to miss an event.
"I've burned my eyebrows off a couple times," Force said. "Burned my hands a little, crawled out of a lot of fires. The worst thing that happened before was when we had a car we were going to cut up on TV. It was on a moving stage thing and I was doing my act and got hit in the elbow by my own car. I thought I was going to miss a race then, but we got through it."
In fact, Force has made a record 322 consecutive starts in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series dating back to the 1987 World Finals for which he failed to qualify.
A determination on whether the team will park the national record-holding Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang for the season finale or compete with another driver won't be made until next week, after Force has an opportunity to discuss the situation with his sponsors and Crew Chiefs.