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Watch: Funny Car Racer John Force Admitted To Hospital Following Car Explosion At NHRA Nationals

John Force has been admitted to hospital after a high-speed crash during the first round of eliminations at the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Virginia Nationals.

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John Force Photo: X
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Funny car racing legend John Force was hospitalized on Sunday following a dramatic high-speed crash during the first round of eliminations at the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Virginia Nationals. He had just secured a win with a 302 mph run at Virginia Motorsports Park when his engine exploded in a massive fireball.

The explosion caused Force's car to veer left, slamming into the opposite wall before careening back across the track into the right wall. The NHRA Medical Team examined Force at the track before he was flown by medical helicopter to a nearby facility for further evaluation.

The crash occurred during the first round of Funny Car eliminations when Force’s engine exploded at the finish line, sending his car across the centerline and into the left concrete guard wall, then back across into the right wall. Despite the intense flames, Force managed to escape the vehicle and reached safety before being transported to a local hospital for intensive care evaluation.

John Force after accident. Photo: X
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75-year-old Force is a mainstay in the NHRA circuit since his debut in 1978 and boasts an impressive record with 157 titles and 16 season championships. At present, he ranks second in the 2024 NHRA Funny Car standings through nine of the season’s 21 events. He owns John Force Racing, which also features his daughter Brittany Force, a two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion.

Just three weeks ago, Force celebrated his record 157th NHRA victory in New Hampshire, marking his second win of the season. In 2007, at age 58, Force sustained serious injuries in a racing crash in Ennis, Texas.

"We're keeping our pal John Force in our thoughts and prayers. He's one tough cookie," former NASCAR star and current NHRA Top Fuel racer Tony Stewart said on social media.

Despite Force's accident, his teammate Austin Prock went on to win the Funny Car division, defeating Bob Tasca III in the final round.

"(The trophy) is going straight to the hospital to John Force," Prock said from the winners’ circle. "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."

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