Drag racing legend John Force and his team had a terrible 2007 season. Force’s protégé Eric Medlen was killed in a testing accident early in the year, then in the fall Force crashed heavily during a race weekend and was seriously injured for the first time in his long career. The accidents prompted serious soul-searching inside Force’s team and resulted in some carefully engineered detail changes to their cars’ roll cages and chassis.
Force, 59, has returned to action this year, joined in his trio of Ford ‘Funny Cars’ by daughter Ashley and son-in-law Robert Hight. In February’s traditional NHRA season-opener at Pomona, California, Hight came through to score the team’s first win since Force’s accident, while Force and Ashley made it through to the semi-final rounds. So early in the new season all three Force Fords are in the ‘Funny Car’ title hunt. Force admits to being a more reflective and humble man these days, but he remains the NHRA’s biggest star.