UPDATE: NHRA Star John Force Remains In ICU At Virginia Hospital

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UPDATE: NHRA Star John Force Remains In ICUIcon Sportswire - Getty Images

Drag racing legend and 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force remained in the intensive care unit at a Virginia trauma hospital Monday, while doctors deliberately take a slow approach to assessing the extent of his injuries from Sunday’s high-speed racing accident, according to a statement the team released late Monday.

The engine in Force’s Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car detonated in a massive fireball after Force crossed the finish line at 302.62 mph during the opening round of the NHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park. The violent explosion propelled him into the concrete guardwall in the opposite lane and got airborne as it crossed the track again and slammed into the other wall.

NHRA Safety Safari workers extracted Force from the car, stabilized him, and helped him onto a gurney and into an ambulance, then on to a medical helicopter that transported him to the hospital.


The statement from the John Force Racing organization said, “Attending doctors purposely were moving slowly in assessing the extent of the injuries to the Hall of Fame owner and driver because of the intensity of the impact. Medical staff will not provide a treatment and recovery timetable until a total evaluation is completed.

“Force’s daughter Brittany, a two-time champion, was joined at the hospital by her mother, Laurie, and sisters Adria, Ashley, and Courtney. The family will maintain a presence while the team competes this weekend in Norwalk, Ohio.

“Updates on the 157-time event winner’s condition will be released at the discretion of the medical staff.”

Brittany Force in her Top Fuel dragster and Virginia Funny Car winner Austn Prock will race this weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Norwalk. The team has not announced whether a substitute driver will carry on in a back-up Funny Car.