Funny Car Driver Hospitalized After Engine Explosion Causes Horrific Crash

Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

John Force, 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ, was sent to an Arizona hospital following a horrific crash with a fellow driver.

The crash occurred when the engine of Force’s Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as he was crossing the finish line during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

The force of the explosion destroyed the body of Force’s car and caused him to lose control. As his car crossed into the right-hand lane he hit the retaining wall in front of Johnnie Lindberg. Lindberg attempted to avoid hitting Force, but couldn’t.  The impact resulted in the body of Lindberg’s car also being destroyed and the two cars became entangled in Lindberg’s parachute.

Lindberg exited his car on his own and was checked out at the medical center before being released.  Force, however, wasn’t so fortunate. The driver had to be helped out of his mangled car by the NHRA safety team and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

According to a Twitter post made by the NHRA, Force was “conscious and alert” as the medical team was transporting him to the hospital.

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying February 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.

We wish John Force a full and speedy recovery.

Watch video of Sunday’s crash below.