NHRA great John Force crashes hard at Arizona Nationals


CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) – Sixteen-time Funny Car champion John Force and Jonnie Lindberg collided at the NHRA’s Arizona Nationals on Sunday.

The 68-year-old Force escaped serious injury and was released Sunday night from Chandler Regional Hospital.

After the 16-time Funny Car season champion’s wreck, daughter Courtney went on to win the event.

“This was a great day for John Force Racing,” John Force said in a team release. “Brittany came back from a crash at Pomona and won first round and Courtney won Funny Car for Advance Auto Parts. My struggles continue, but I’m a big boy, I’ll fix it.”

The crash happened two weeks after one of Force’s daughters, reigning Top Fuel champion Brittany Force, was hospitalized following a hard crash at the season opener in Pomona, California. Brittany Force was back in the car this weekend in Arizona.

Force’s engine exploded at the finish line, sending him veering across the right lane in front of Lindberg and hard into a retaining wall. The hit lifted his rear tires off the ground, and they landed on Lindberg’s canopy. The parachutes from both cars got tangled at that point, and Lindberg’s car dragged Force’s back across the track and into the left wall.

It was the second time in two events that Force blew an engine in elimination rounds.

In 2007, Force was seriously injured at Texas Motorplex when his car crossed the finish line, blew a tire, crossed into the opposite lane and collided with Kenny Bernstein’s car.

Lindberg exited his mangled dragster under his own power.

“I got up and walked away,” Lindberg said. “I felt good and the doctors came to my trailer to check me out and told me that I’m good.”


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