, star of A&E's Driving Force
, was seriously injured while racing against Kenny Bernstein on September 23. As he still recovering from the accident, he pulled himself out of the TORCO Racing Fuels Nationals, held on October 5 to 7 at the Virginia Motorsports Park, leaving his son-in-law, Robert Hight, to compete at the race car event alone.
In another upset for the Force team, Hight was unable to succeed the late Eric Medlen as Funny Car champion of TORCO Nationals over the weekend due to a clutch malfunction. Hight lost the competition to Ron Capps when his car's clutch activated prematurely, causing his 8,000 horsepower Mustang to lose traction several hundred feet into the race.
“It was really a surprise,” Hight, who is married to John Force's daughter from a previous marriage, said. “The clutch just came in quicker than it had all weekend. We don't know why, but we're going to test tomorrow and then we're going to Vegas and test next week. We've got good sponsors and a good team and [the championship is] still ours to win.”
Aside from John Force, Hight was also supposed to be joined Ashley
, Force's oldest daughter with his current wife, Laurie, at this past weekend's TORCO Nationals. However, due to time constraints, engineers were unable to complete changes to the car Ashley, who co-stars on Driving Force
, was going to use at the race .
Despite losing the race, Hight did manage to qualify for a starting spot in the Countdown to One, which will crown the POWERade World Champion for this year.
“Our job was to get one of these Ford Mustangs in the Countdown to One for Auto Club, Castrol and Ford,” Force said from Baylor University Medical Center where he is still recovering from his injuries. “Robert will carry that banner for us in the last two races. He and [crew chief] Jimmy Prock earned the right to race for the championship.”
Meanwhile, the Force family's reality series, Driving Force
, has yet to air new episodes.
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image Courtesy of johnforceracing.com)