A FITTING TRIBUTE TO A CHAMPION
few epitomized a peaceful spirit better than Eric Medlen and the
releasing of doves in honor of the Eric Medlen Project was a special
In a special ceremony at John Force Racing's
Brownsburg, Indiana-based shop, plans the Eric Medlen Project, a
48,000-square foot building adjacent to the team's race facility were.
The Eric Medlen Project ultimately will house a chassis shop, paint shop, and
engine shop providing proprietary parts for JFR's Ford Mustang Funny Cars and
As incredible as the plans for the Eric Medlen Project are, it was the bronze statue of Medlen's likeness that stole the show.
In creating The Eric Medlen Project (TEMP), Force said his goal was to
secure the legacy of its namesake, enhance race car safety in all forms of motor
racing and sustain the JFR racing dynasty, which has claimed 15 NHRA Funny Car
championships in the last 17 seasons.
“Our purpose is to show everyone that all of us at John Force Racing will
never forget Eric Medlen and the impact he had on us,” Force said of the young
driver he has called “the son I never had.”
To address safety and performance goals, Force ultimately wants to create
every race car component and perform every step of the preparation process
in-house. That would include everything from building the engines and the
chassis for Funny Cars and dragsters to applying the paint.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Force said. “I am still working with (chassis
builder) Murf McKinney, but one day we plan to evolve to doing everything
in-house because that’s the best way to maintain quality control.”
In addition, TEMP will contain the high-tech data acquisition and testing
equipment needed to support the JFR safety initiative. Force again emphasized
that his team, led by Eric’s father, John Medlen, will share all the
safety-related data it develops with the NHRA and the PRO (Professional Racecar
The elder Medlen, who was crew chief on his son’s Ford Mustang, is
relocating from Russellville, Ark., with his wife, Martha. Hired in 1996 to
oversee the build-up of a second JFR Funny Car team, Medlen also will resume his
duties as crew chief on a Ford Mustang driven by rookie Mike Neff.
Visit our special ERIC MEDLEN PROJECT Photo Gallery .