John Force Racing to skip Houston UPDATE "We fully support John's decision not to take his team to Houston this weekend out of respect for the crew and the Medlen family. I've had the chance to spend the last couple of days with the team this week, and it's clear they need a little time to grieve, and emotionally heal before they get back to racing. All of us at Ford Racing look forward to them getting back to the track in Las Vegas in two weeks time, and I know they will be extremely focused on winning the championship this year for Eric." Dan Davis, Ford Motorsports Boss
03/28/07 John Force Racing, Inc., still is evaluating what occurred in the accident that caused the severe closed head injury which resulted in driver Eric Medlen's death.
The JFR crew chiefs, headed by Eric's father, John Medlen, will be working closely with the NHRA, the PRO and the team's vendors to evaluate the series of events that caused the tire blow-out and an extreme vibration beyond anything previously recorded in the sport.
"It is our sincere desire to provide a summary of the information taken from this accident to all parties," said John Medlen. "That is what Eric would have wanted."
In the near future, JFR will attempt to implement safety measures needed to prevent this type of tragedy from recurring.
Out of respect for the Medlen family and to allow the JFR family the opportunity to grieve its loss, team owner John Force confirmed Wednesday that the team will not compete in this week's 20th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston, Texas.
According to Force, the team felt the need to address changes in the driver cockpit area but hopes to return to competition, April 12-15, in the SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Medlen's death was the first in the NHRA Funny Car division in almost 38 years. The last known NHRA Funny Car fatality was that of Gerry Schwartz, who died in a crash at the NHRA Springnationals in Dallas, Texas, on June 15, 1969.
"We appreciate your continued support and prayers for the Medlen and John Force Racing families," said JFR spokesperson Kelly Antonelli.
In the team's absence, fans and supporters attending the Houston race can post personal messages on special Eric Medlen posters available at the BP/Castrol display on the Manufacturers Midway. Those posters subsequently will be presented to the family. Race fans also can send their personal remembrances of Eric to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org. John Force Racing