Force Released to California Treatment Center

John and Brittany Force celebrate her 38th birthday on Monday, July 8 - photo courtesy Brittany Force
John Force surrounded by his family: Adrian, Noah, Jacob, Ashley, Courtney, wife Laurie and Brittany – photo courtesy Force family

He’s getting better, but John Force is definitely not out of the woods yet. The 16-time Mission Foods NHRA Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion, who has 157 wins to his credit – two of them this season – is out of  the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health Center where he’s been treated the past 15 days.

Force is being placed on an AirMed ambulance for a three-hour flight to a California neurological rehab facility that has wide experience in treating the kind of traumatic brain injury (TBI) Force incurred in his massive accident at Virginia Motorsports Park, following a catastrophic engine failure. The new facility is closer to his Yorba Linda home.

Family members touted the departure from VCU as a major step in his recuperation, which is expected to take many months. Force crashed his Chevrolet Camaro SS during the first round of Funny Car eliminations at more than 300mph during the PlayNHRA Virginia Nationals. After impacting both sides of the concrete-walled dragstrip, Force was airlifted to VCU Medical Center, where he’s been treated ever since.

Medical staff treating the GOAT caution that a long road lies ahead and it could be difficult for both his family and the medical attendants treating him. Force is dealing with both cognitive and behavioral symptoms from this brain injury. He has been able to converse with both the medical staff and his immediate family, all of whom have been by his side throughout this process.

John and Brittany Force celebrate her 38th birthday on Monday, July 8 – photo courtesy Brittany Force

Force has enjoyed the company of grandsons Jacob and Noah Hood; on Monday he helped celebrate daughter – and Top Fuel two-time champion – Brittany Force’s 38th birthday at the VCU treatment center, enjoying some celebratory ice cream. Still, staff and family caution that he does have periods of confusion that are being addressed by this move.

While no viable timetable has been established for the length of Force’s stay at the new facility, selected because of its success in treating other race car drivers with similar TBI symptoms and issues, the superstar’s road to recovery is expected to be a lengthy one.

By Anne Proffit

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.

2 Comments on Force Released to California Treatment Center

  1. I raced hard in NHRA super stock for 40 years and John Force was always one of my heros. Hope he gets well soon. And God bless !

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