John Force, 75, alert after fiery crash at Virginia Motorsports Park

FILE - NHRA Funny Car driver John Force waves to the crowd during driver introductions prior to day three of the NHRA Mile High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway on July 24, 2016. (Photo by Michael Reaves/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

NHRA great John Force was said to be alert and talking to safety workers after experiencing a fiery, 300-mph crash on Sunday in the Virginia Nationals.

The 75-year-old was examined at the Virginia Motorsports Park track by the NHRA Medical Team before being transported by medical helicopter to a facility for further evaluation.

The engine exploded Force's car at the finish line during the first round of Funny Car eliminations, sending the vehicle across the centerline and striking the left concrete guard wall, then careening back across into the right wall, according to the Associated Press. 

"We’re keeping our pal John Force in our thoughts and prayers. He’s one tough cookie," Tony Stewart, the former NASCAR star who now races in NHRA’s Top Fuel class, said on social media.

Force achieved his record 157th NHRA victory and second of the season just three weeks ago in New Hampshire. In 2007 at age 58, Force was seriously injured in a racing crash in Ennis, Texas.

On Sunday, long after Force's accident, teammate Austin Prock won the Funny Car division, topping Bob Tasca III in the final round.

"(The trophy) is going straight to the hospital to John Force," Prock said from the winners’ circle.

"It’s just tough to see somebody go through that, especially when it’s somebody you really care about, but I know he’ll be back. We’re race car drivers and we have to flip the switch. I know John wanted us to be out here, going rounds and I’m glad we did our job."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.