Drag Race Legend John Force Hospitalized after Massive Engine Explosion Causes Big Crash

a race car on a track
John Force Hospitalized after Engine ExplosionDrag Illustrated / Youtube

Drag-racing legend John Force was hospitalized following a brutal crash on Sunday when his engine exploded while crossing the finish line during the first round of eliminations at the NHRA Virginia Nationals.

"Force was alert and was examined onsite by the NHRA Medical Team before being transported to a local medical facility for further evaluation," the NHRA said in a statement.

Alan Reinhart reported on Fox Sports that the impact was made at 302 mph.

Force, 75, bounced off both walls after crossing the centerline and pinballing off of the guard walls farther down the track.

Crossing the finish line first, Force took the victory over Terry Haddock in the right lane. Thankfully, when Force crossed over the centerline, Haddock had slowed enough to avoid any additional contact.


In 2007, Force was involved in a crash at Texas Motorplex, where he veered into Kenny Bernstein after blowing a tire at 327 mph. This crash left Force in the hospital for more than a month and nearly ended his racing career.

Earlier this year, after his victory in the NHRA Winter Nationals, Force told reporters that it pains him to think about retirement as he still wants to do everything in his power to compete at the top level of the sport. Speed Sport reported that he felt like "Time's running out, and I'm trying to hang on."

This story will be updated as more information is released about Force's crash and recovery.

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