Top Fuel Champion Escapes Horrifying Qualifying Crash
Reigning NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel Champion was released from the hospital on Monday after an overnight stay that resulted from a terrible crash in Sunday's elimination round at the Lucas Oil Winternationals. Although the John Force Racing team pulled into Pomona CA with high hopes of continuing their success from the previous season, nothing went according to plans.
In Q2 the 16-time Funny Car Champion and team owner, John Force saved the remains of his Peak Chevrolet Camaro after a spectacular blow-up nearly the finish line destroyed his primary ride. The rough ride sent the 68 year-old team patriarch to the hospital for a CT scan of his head, neck, chest and abdomen. When Force returned to the track later that evening, the crew was busy prepping the backup car for Saturday's events; but not the way he wanted to start his 42nd season.
Defending champion Brittany Force got her season off to a rocky start with a jaw-dropping crash in the first round of Sunday's eliminations. The spectacular metal crushing ride was captured by racing photographer Mark Rebilas (see MJR photo log). After the Monster Energy dragster loss traction, it crossed into the opponent's lane. Fortunately for all, Terry Haddock had one of his worst starts ever and was not alongside Force as she slammed into the outside retaining wall. The battered vehicle ricocheted back across the track, flipped upside down and caught fire as the mangled dragster slid to a halt.
NHRA's Safety Safari was immediately on the scene, distinguished the engine fire and began assisting the driver. Brittany was carefully removed from the wreck and taken by ambulance to the hospital. Although the talented 31 year-old never lost consciousness, she was kept overnight with complaints of a sore upper body and left shoulder. She is expected to be behind the wheel at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in two weeks for the NHRA Arizona Nationals.
Photo credit dreamstime.com - Brittany Force at Wild Horse Park 2017.