Fourteen times John Force has earned an NHRA championship, today the owner/driver has been airlifted to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas after a heavy crash during eliminations at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis. Team spokesman...
Fourteen times John Force has earned an NHRA championship, today the owner/driver has been airlifted to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas after a heavy crash during eliminations at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis.
Team spokesman Dave Densmore reported Force's injuries to the media. "He was asking to talk to Laurie, his wife, and Ashley and Robert Hight, so that was a good sign," Densmore said. "He is in a lot of pain, obviously. They can't take passengers on the helicopter so the family is off to the hospital in a car."
Force was not alone in the incident, he had qualified third in his Ford Mustang and was facing off against Kenny Bernstein (Dodge Charger). Both Funny Car racers were injured, Bernstein remains at the track and is okay. Force has been listed with serious injuries to his hands and lower extremities.
While concern has mounted for the popular NHRA driver, the team feel confident for his recovery and his daughter Ashley Force may stay and finish out today's competition. At this time that has not been confirmed.
The two top Funny Car drivers had made it to the quarterfinals when the two ended up in a collision past the finish line. Bernstein drifted over into Force's lane after he had hit the final timing cone.
"I kept turning and correcting it, and it kept sticking. I just couldn't get it to come back," Bernstein reflected. "I saw the front of his car pointed towards me and when we hit, I saw my [car] body and John's [car] body coming apart."
Bernstein exited his Charger without assistance but Force did not. The NHRA safety/medical scene were on the spot immediately and determined to transport Force to the hospital for further evaluation.
"He (John Force) was talking to me, he was worrying about whether I was hurt," Bernstein said. "Typical John. I told him I was fine."
The medical team have spoken with the family and team after doing a full evaluation. What follows is from John Force Racing via the NHRA public relations team:
"Force sustained a broken left ankle and severe abrasion on his right knee. Force's left wrist also was dislocated and broken and he sustained some severe abrasions and slight fractures on a number of fingers on his right hand.
"Throughout all procedures Force was alert and responsive. CAT scans performed came back negative and showed no damage other than the injuries to his legs and hands. Surgeons will begin cleaning a number of his injuries tonight and possibly setting his fractures if the swelling is at an acceptable level."