Reigning Top Fuel world champion Brittany Force was released from the hospital Monday after a precautionary overnight stay. She shows no lingering effects from injury except for some upper body soreness. Force will continue to recuperate at home.



Brittany Force found out the brutally hard way Sunday that an 11,000-horsepower, nitromethane-powered Top Fuel dragster is no respecter of newly crowned champions.

A violent, wall-tagging crash that sent her to a local hospital for evaluation triggered a rash of engine explosions and accidents that marred the first round of nitro eliminations at the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.

Her Monster Energy Dragster hit both guard walls at about 150 mph during her race against Terry Haddock in a spectacularly scary first round of eliminations at Auto Club Raceway.

Force was conscious, alert, and responsive when the Safety Safari emergency personnel reached her, and she exited the dragster. She was transported to a local hospital for evaluation – just as her Funny Car icon father John Force had been Friday afternoon when he experienced an engine explosion.

A preliminary report from John Force Racing is that Brittany Force does not have any head injuries but was complaining of a sore left shoulder. Competition Plus will provide further updates as they become available.

Force’s dragster smoked the tires shortly after the launch. When she got back on the throttle, the car hurtled across the track from the right lane to the left in front of Haddock, who also had traction problems. Her car flew toward the left wall and made jarring lateral contact with the left rear portion. It ricocheted off the wall and spun on the ground toward the right wall. It turned on its side, and the rear wing and nose of the car took the brunt of that second impact. It trailed fire as it returned upright and finally came to a rest.

“Thoughts and prayers go out to Brittany Force. I’ve been there,” Steve Torrence, who was runner-up to Force by 81 points here last November, said after winning the next pairing. “I hope she’s OK.”

In the pairing after Torrence’s, the engine on Doug Kalitta’s Mac Tools Dragster detonated and obliterated the front of the supercharger. He won against tire-smoking teammate Richie Crampton.  

“So much for that injector. We made it to 800 feet and it smoked the tires. I stayed with it. We’re out there to win this race,” Kalitta said.
Antron Brown closed the Top Fuel round with a blown engine, too, but the Matco Tools/U.S. Army/Toyota Dragster driver won against Mike Salinas, whose ruptured fuel line kept him from giving Brown a strong challenge.
The Funny Car class started with more of the same. Ron Capps was a 4.833-second winner over Shawn Langdon in the first pairing, but the engine on his NAPA Dodge Charger let go.