NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series racer Brittany Force escaped serious injury after a racing incident in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Force’s Monster Energy dragster went out of control during the pass, made contact with the guard wall and came to rest past the finish line. She was responsive, speaking with medical personnel, and was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. Force suffered no major internal injuries but does have some bruising of the lungs. A CT Scan was negative and the MRI showed subtle findings likely from previous injuries. She was admitted overnight for observation simply as a precaution.
Much like her father’s explosion on Friday evening, Force’s Simpson safety gear, including her Steilo Helmet, R3 head and neck restraint, fire suit, neck collar and belts, kept her conscious and securely strapped into the driver’s seat.
“You look at how these cars evolved over 40-50 years,” John Force said. “We made a lot of changes after the loss of Eric (Medlen, former JFR driver who lost his life in a 2007 testing accident). A lot came out of that. Building better chassis, safer. Want to thank Simpson safety for building helmets, equipment and everything to keep our drivers safe. The car giving way when it hit the wall head on allowed it to take the impact and fold up (as it was designed to do).
“I want to thank Schumacher Racing for creating the canopy (over the driver’s seat). When the car was upside down, you know that protects the driver’s head. Want to personally thank Don Schumacher for his investment (in the canopy program). Very important. Thanks, Don. Safety Safari was right on top of it, as always, that’s why they’re the best in the business. Finally, John Medlen, was one of the first to come to me, and want to know if she was okay. I didn’t have an answer at the time. But he’s lived it. He knows what all of us go through: owners, friends, parents and sponsors. End of the day, we keep addressing it to get it better.”
Brittany Force, the No. 2 qualifier, was racing Terry Haddock in the first round when her Monster Energy dragster smoked the tires. Force attempted to pedal her 11,000 hp race car before it took a hard left and made contact with both guard walls.