Another Positive Update for NHRA Legend John Force

John Force's burnouts are always lengthy and filled with smoke - Anne Proffit photo
John Force’s burnouts are always lengthy and filled with smoke – Anne Proffit photo

All that praying and hoping for John Force’s recovery appears to be helping. The legendary NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series Funny Car 16-time champion is recovering from his injuries sustained less than two weeks ago.

In the first round of eliminations held at the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals on the Virginia Motorsports Park dragstrip, Force’s Chevrolet Camaro SS suffered a massive engine explosion that sent his car into both sides of the guard walls at speeds of more than 300mph. Faced suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as a fractured sternum and a right wrist injury, together with burns, Force was airlifted to a trauma facility in the area.

John Force at Roland Leong’s celebration of life – Anne Proffit photo

Doctors acknowledged, Friday July 5th, that the 157-race winner is showing positive responses to his treatment and has been moved from neuro-intensive care into acute neurological care at the Richmond-area hospital where he was transferred by air ambulance following his series of crashes.

While the entire Force family is on-site with him, the medical professionals who have been assigned to his care emphasize that Force’s recovery will be both lengthy and difficult.

While Force continues to deal with cognitive and behavioral symptoms from his TBI, the fact that he’s able to speak with the medical staff, with his family members and with John Force Racing president Robert Hight, who flew in this week, is an encouraging sign. At the same time, there have been – and likely will continue to be – periods of confusion for Force. His physicians state these TBI injuries require time and patience to treat.

Force is always animated at the track – Anne Proffit photo

Especially noteworthy in Force’s current improving condition is the fact that this 75-year-old grandfather of five has regained his equilibrium, allowing him to start walking with the assistance of medical staff members.

The Force family stated the next step for John Force, whose career has spanned six decades, most likely will be a move to a long-term facility that specializes in traumatic brain injury and its associated symptoms. A timetable for that move has not yet been determined, but knowing his lack of patience and Force’s need to make everything occur quickly, we can expect the Hall of Fame driver to attempt to shorten the recovery as much as he is able.

About Anne Proffit 1299 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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