You can see Eric here in this video racing the John Force at the 06 National Finals.
NHRA President Tom Compton issued a statement on the passing of Funny Car driver Eric Medlen.“Words cannot describe how everyone at NHRA is feeling after the passing of one of our brightest young stars, Eric Medlen. He earned his way to the top through hard work and perseverance and, in doing so, gained the respect of his fellow competitors.Eric was a great spokesperson not only for John Force Racing but the sport of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing and he will be forever remembered for his enthusiasm, uplifting personality and ever-present smile. He was destined to become a great champion in the sport and all of us at NHRA are grateful and fortunate to have shared in some of his glory.Eric left this sport far too soon and his absence will be felt by everyone within the NHRA racing community. On behalf of everyone at NHRA, I want to send our sincere condolences to the Medlen family and John Force Racing.
You can also read more about Eric’s accident here. He was 33.
Eric Medlen who had emerged as one of the most popular young drivers in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, succumbed Friday, March 23, 2007 to injuries suffered when his race car crashed into a guardwall during a test session at Gainesville Raceway.A graduate of Oakdale (Calif.) High School, where he was a high school rodeo champion in calf roping, Medlen trained under the watchful eye of two-time PRCA World Champion Jerold Camarillo and had contemplated a career in pro rodeo before his father called in 1996 to offer him a mechanic’s job at John Force Racing, Inc.After spending one season on the team on which his father was crew chief, he moved over one pit stall in 1997 to work on the car driven by 14-time NHRA champion John Force. Serving first as the supercharger technician and later as a clutch specialist, he was a member of a team the crewed Force to 50 tour victories and six championships in seven seasons.When Tony Pedregon left after the 2003 season to form his own team, Medlen was Force’s surprise pick to fill the seat, a move that re-united him with his father on the No. 2 team at JFR.
He was the sport’s top Funny Car rookie in 2004, winning at Brainerd, Minn. He won three races in 2005 and two in 2006 including the race contested closest to his hometown — the Fram/Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
Our prayers and love go out to his family, freinds and loved ones.
I will keep the blog silent until tomorrow in Memory and Honor of Eric. He was a really nice guy.