NHRA drag racing great John Force has head injury, team says 'long road' to recovery ahead

NHRA drag racing great John Force has a head injury and has been moved to a neurological ICU four days after crashing at 300 mph during a race in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — NHRA drag racing great John Force has a head injury and has been moved from a trauma intensive care unit to a neurological ICU four days after a fiery, 300 mph crash in at the Virginia Nationals.

John Force Racing said Thursday that the move for the 75-year-old Force was a "welcome positive for his family members." The statement said Force was improving, but faced a long road to recovery.

During the first round of Funny Car eliminations Sunday, Force's car had a catastrophic engine failure at the finish line, with the vehicle going across the centerline and slamming into the left concrete guard wall, then careening back across into the right wall.

Force was alert and talking to safety workers immediately after crashing at 302 mph. The Hall of Fame owner and driver was examined at the track by the NHRA medical team before being transported by helicopter to a hospital.

In 2007, at age 58, Force was seriously injured in a racing crash in Ennis, Texas. He has continued to race at the highest level; three weeks ago in New Hampshire, Force raced to his record 157th NHRA victory and second of the season.

The Force family thanked medical personnel for their care of John. They also thanked the “heartfelt” messages of support from friends and fans since Force's accident.

Force’s daughter, Brittany, a two-time world champion, was at the hospital with her mother, Laurie, and three sisters. She will not race this weekend in Norwalk, Ohio, remaining with her family at the hospital.

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