Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 67° Partly Cloudy
Sports >  National sports

NHRA: Courtney Force wins, father John Force in wreck

Funny Car driver Courtney Force won the NHRA Arizona Nationals on Sunday. (CHRIS NEAL / File/AP)
Funny Car driver Courtney Force won the NHRA Arizona Nationals on Sunday. (CHRIS NEAL / File/AP)
Associated Press

CHANDLER, Ariz. – Courtney Force won the NHRA Arizona Nationals on Sunday after her 68-year-old father escaped serious injury in a frightening engine explosion and crash.

Courtney Force beat Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final round with a 3.834-second run at 337.16 mph. She won for the 10th time in Funny Car and first since Houston in 2016.

“Having (crew chief) Brian Corradi on my team and working with Dan Hood has been a great connection for our entire team,” said Courtney Force, the wife of IndyCar driver Graham Rahal. “I had the utmost confidence to get in the car today because of the job my team does on it, so to get a victory at this race and take home a Wally at the end of the weekend is pretty incredible.”

In the second round, John Force’s engine exploded at the finish line, sending him veering across the right lane in front of Jonnie Lindberg and hard into a retaining wall. The hit lifted his rear tires off the ground, and they landed on Lindberg’s canopy. The parachutes from both cars got tangled at that point, and Lindberg’s car dragged Force’s back across the track and into the left wall. It was the second time in two events that Force blew an engine in elimination rounds.

John Force was speaking with safety personnel before being transported to a hospital for further evaluation. Lindberg exited his mangled dragster under his own power.

“I got up and walked away,” Lindberg said. “I felt good and the doctors came to my trailer to check me out and told me that I’m good.”

The crash happened two weeks after another of Force’s daughters, reigning Top Fuel champion Brittany Force, was hospitalized following a hard crash at the season opener in Pomona, California. Brittany Force was back in the car this weekend in Arizona.

Steve Torrence won in Top Fuel, and Chris McGaha in Pro Stock. Torrence beat Scott Palmer with a 3.729 at 330.72, and McGaha topped Jason Line with a 6.529 at 211.59.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.