Brittany Force still can’t remember the huge crash that took her out of the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., on Feb 11, but has been cleared to race at this weekend’s Arizona Nationals.
Force sustained a concussion and was hospitalized overnight after the first round wreck, but escaped without any other serious injuries, Autoweek reports.
The defending NHRA Top Fuel Champion said that all she can recall is staging her car at the starting line, then being helped out of it and seeing the wreck.
“I remember looking down at this mangled mess and thinking someone had wrecked. Then I realized the mess was my car,” Force said. “After that I remember bits and pieces, but I do remember my whole family in the hospital with me. My first question was, 'What happened?'"
She’s only watched part of the accident on an iPhone and said she doesn’t want to see the whole thing before she races again.
"My biggest concern is being trapped in the car while it's on fire," she said. "So, after seeing in the video that the car tipped over and caught on fire, I made the decision not to watch it again until getting back in the car and making some runs. I don't need those images in my head before making another pass."
It was the first major wreck of her career and her father, NHRA legend John Force, said afterward that he had a tough time watching it.
"Takes your breath away. Knocks the wind out of you," the elder Force told Fox Sports in Pomona.
Brittany got back behind the wheel for the first time at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix on Thursday and told reporters that it “honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was.”
Force will make her first qualifying runs during qualifying on Friday ahead of Sunday’s race. She has three runner-up finishes in five starts at the event.
The Associated Press contributed to this report