RICHMOND, Va. (June 30, 2024) – After five tense days during which he was heavily sedated while battling the effects of injuries suffered in the 300 mile-per-hour crash of his drag racing Funny Car, 16-time NHRA World Champion John Force has begun to show daily signs of improvement, according to family members who have maintained a presence at the trauma hospital to which he was transported by air ambulance on Sunday.

Early in the treatment process of his Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), he failed to follow the series of commands to open his eyes, squeeze the hands of his care providers and move his extremities. Occasionally, he was able to respond with slight movements, but it wasn’t until he moved from trauma intensive care unit to neuro intensive care unit on Wednesday that he began to gain some momentum.

He became more consistent responding to commands and finally opened his eyes on day five. Following days of failed attempts, his wife and daughters were overcome with emotion when he murmured his name, ‘John Force,’ and later when prompted, gave a thumbs up. 

The biggest challenge has been managing his extreme agitation and confusion, which causes him significant distress. He has repeatedly tried to get out of bed and has been restrained; his doctors have humorously described him as a raging bull. However, he recognized his daughters, wife, Laurie, and called them each by name. And spoke the words, “I love you.” This, along with continued daily progress has uplifted their spirits.

Brittany opted out of the cockpit of the Cornwell Tools Top Fuel dragster at this week’s 17th Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Norwalk, Ohio, to remain with family in support of her dad. 

Despite the welcomed progress, the 157- time tour winner still faces a long and difficult recovery ahead and for the immediate future, will remain in neuro intensive care with visitation restricted to immediate family members only.

John’s family members extend their deepest gratitude to the medical professionals responsible for his well-being and recovery. They deeply appreciate the overwhelming number of heartfelt messages, prayers, support, and concern from the entire automotive and racing industries. Thank you to sponsors, fans, and the media for respecting the privacy of the Force family and the John Force Racing team members.