75-Year-Old John Force Survives Fiery 302-MPH Drag Racing Crash

Gif: Drag Illustrated / YouTube
Gif: Drag Illustrated / YouTube

Drag racing legend John Force is thankfully still alive after a fiery crash during the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals. Force crossed the finish line at 302.62 miles per hour when his funny car’s engine exploded. Despite the 75-year-old beating Terry Hadcock for the first-round win, he was sent on a trip to a local hospital.

John Force Racing stated, “[Force] was conscious and talking to NHRA Safety Safari personnel immediately following the crash. He was transported to a nearby medical center for further evaluation in the ICU.” The team didn’t describe the extent of his injuries.

The footage of the crash is astonishing. The funny car suffered a catastrophic engine failure and nearly hit the right-side wall before veering across the drag strip to slam into the concrete wall on the left side. Engulfed in flames and shedding body way, the car bounces off the wall and hits the concrete lining the opposite side. Despite multiple heavy impacts, the roll cage and cockpit remained intact.


Force might be 75 years old, but he doesn’t want to retire. However, the Hall of Famer has publicly named Austin Prock, his 28-year-old teammate, as his successor. While Force was in the hospital, Prock won the event. He told the Associated Press:

“(The trophy) is going straight to the hospital to John Force.”

“It’s just tough to see somebody go through that, especially when it’s somebody you really care about, but I know he’ll be back. We’re race car drivers and we have to flip the switch. I know John wanted us to be out here, going rounds and I’m glad we did our job.”

This isn’t the first time Force rode through a serious crash. In 2018, he was hospitalized after an incident at the Arizona Nationals. In competitive terms, age is just a number for Force. He has won two of the season’s first eight races and currently sits 2nd in the NHRA Funny Car standings, only behind Prock.

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