Medlen Returns To John Force Racing John Medlen, who won an NHRA Funny Car championship as crew chief to Tony Pedregon, helped design and develop the BOSS 500 Ford nitro motor and served as the “safety conscience” for drag racing after the tragic death of his son, Eric, confirmed Tuesday that he will return to JFR in the new capacity of Director of Technology and Safety.
“I found out John Medlen became available over the weekend and I offered him a job to come back to work with us on safety. He is a leader in safety. I always wanted John Medlen back because he is like family. I am excited to have him back in our brain-trust. He will start immediately and he will get to work with the other crew chiefs building on a lot of the safety ideas we have worked on over the winter. We had a strong test session but we need to keep working on ideas and projects throughout the season. That is what Medlen will do for us,” said John Force, JFR CEO.
Medlen, who left JFR in 2010 when the economic downturn forced team owner John Force to park the Ford Mustang in which Mike Neff earned 2008 Rookie-of-the-Year recognition, will oversee an expanding research-and-development program designed to insure the team’s overall success and safety for years to come. He will also work with Ford Racing engineers to continue to develop the BOSS 500 engine.
“I’m thrilled to be back here at John Force Racing. This is truly a family environment and I have missed it. From the time I walked in the door, everything has been the same,” said John Medlen. “The people, the hospitality; nothing has changed. We’re all looking forward to a great year racing four Funny Cars and going for that championship. I’m excited to be here and have the opportunity to be back in the family.”
Appropriately, the 61-year-old veteran will work from within The Eric Medlen Project, a research and safety initiative founded and funded by John Force following the 2007 testing accident that claimed the life of one of the sport’s rising young stars. The Eric Medlen Project is housed in JFR’s massive Midwest shop facility in Brownsburg, Ind.
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