September 23, 2007

John Force Injured, But Okay

Steven's second-most-favorite driver, John Force, suffered a serious accident in today's Fall Nationals at Ennis, Texas.

He had just finished a race against Kenny Bernstein when Bernstein's car appeared to clip the final timing cone. The cone was launched into the side of Force's car, which then split apart. The back half, with Force in it, slammed into the wall when the braking chute was released. The front half snapped across the track and collected Bernstein's car, who escaped with only minor injuries.

Force broke his left ankle and wrist, and had a 'severe abrasion' on his right knee. I think it's safe to say that he's pretty lucky. Please note that the dramatic footage of the crash ISN'T where Force is. The camera follows the wrong part of the car... just keep an eye on the chute.

Of course, the cars are designed to split apart in case of an crash, so as to seperate the engine from the driver. But, and this is important to note, there wasn't a crash in this case UNTIL the car split apart. Very odd indeed.

Steven's favorite driver, Ashley Force, is fine... and you can take that any way you want, wink wink nudge nudge.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 06:38 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 I really enjoy watching funny cars, but they are more dangerous than other kinds of cars in a crash. With the current rules, a top fuel dragster always has the engine behind the driver, and there's a firewall and a piece of armor plate in between them. So if the engine flames (which is common) the flame goes away from the driver, and if the engine blows up, the armor plate will stop most fragments. As long as the car is moving, the wind protects the driver from fire.

In funny cars, the engine is in front of the driver. They're burning essentially the same fuel as top fuel dragsters (I think it's 94% nitromethane, 6% gasoline) and the engine just isn't all that far from the driver, because the cars are not all that large. And if the engine blows, the flames stay inside the body and blow straight back at the driver. Plus, in a crash, the engine is in front of the driver.

Those things are also true for super-stock, but superstock isn't anything like the same. They don't run as fast, and they run on gasoline. You don't get engine blowups in superstock like you get in funny cars and top fuel.

I'm really, really glad that Force's injuries were so minor. It could have been a hell of a lot worse. He'll be back, and that's a good thing. John Force is an institution. The sport will be poorer once he stops racing.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at September 23, 2007 09:47 PM (+rSRq)

2 That was one hellacious accident. Force is my favorite funny car driver and it was a relief to hear that he'd survived relatively unscathed--all things considered.

Posted by: Mallory at September 26, 2007 02:36 AM (u2PEb)

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