UPDATE: NHRA Great John Force Leaves Intensive Care, Battling Traumatic Brain Injury

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John Force Leaves Intensive Care, Has Brain InjuryJared C. Tilton - Getty Images

NHRA great John Force has been moved out of neuro-intensive care and into acute neuro care at the hospital where he was transported by air ambulance after being injured when his Camaro SS Funny Car exploded and crashed into the concrete wall lining the dragstrip.

Force was reportedly traveling at 300 mph at the time of the June 23 incident. Force was second place in the NHRA season points and in the midst of one of his best Funny Car seasons since his his most recent championship in 2013 at the time of his accident.

According to an official press release from John Force Racing on Saturday:

The latest upgrade was welcomed by Force family members who have maintained a presence at the hospital since the 16-time NHRA Champion’s arrival, but medical professionals emphasized once again that the journey ahead will be a long and difficult one.

Although Force is still dealing with cognitive and behavioral symptoms from his TBI, the fact that the Hall of Fame driver can converse with medical staff, family members, and John Force Racing president Robert Hight, who flew in this week, is an encouraging sign. However, there have also been periods of confusion, which doctors say require time and patience to treat.

Also noteworthy was the fact that the 75-year-old grandfather of five has regained his equilibrium to the point that he has been able to start walking with the assistance of medical staff members.

According to family, the next step for the man whose career has spanned six decades likely will be a move to a long-term facility specializing in TBI (traumatic brain injuries) and associated symptoms. A time frame for that move has not yet been determined.