UPDATE: NHRA Great John Force Suffered Head Injury in Crash, Faces 'Long Road Ahead'

auto jun 22 nhra virginia nationals
UPDATE: John Force Suffered Head Injury in CrashIcon Sportswire - Getty Images

John Force Racing today confirmed that 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force suffered a serious head injury in a violent explosion and crash in last weekend's PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Force, 75, has moved to the neuro intensive care unit at a Richmond hospital. There is no timetable for Force's release from the hospital or any possible return to NHRA action.

The team also added that two-time Top Fuel champ Brittany Force has decided not to race at this week's NHRA event at Norwalk, Ohio. The team's third driver, Funny Car points leader Austin Prock, is expected to compete at Norwalk.


The team shed some light on Force's condition in a Thursday press release, saying "Force improving, faces long road ahead":

Four days after his crash at more than 300 miles per hour, drag racing champion John Force has moved from the trauma intensive care unit to the neuro intensive care unit, where the medical team can focus on his head injury which is their primary concern.

The move was a welcome positive for his family members, who have maintained a daily presence at the hospital all week.

With the unanimous support of her family, team, and sponsors, Brittany Force is not planning to compete this week at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, where she would have driven the Cornwell Tools Chevrolet Top Fuel dragster. Instead, she will remain at the hospital with her family in solidarity for her father.

Austin Prock will compete this weekend with the same courageous, fighting spirit that John has embodied and instilled in his teams over the years, and his AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS team will proudly carry the torch for the entire John Force Racing organization and sponsors this weekend.

The Force family is grateful for the team of medical professionals who are caring for John, and for the overwhelming number of heartfelt messages of prayer, support, and concern. Thank you for continuing to respect the privacy of the family and John Force Racing team members.