Hendrick team machinist is brother of slain MIT officer

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The ongoing situation in Boston has hit the NASCAR family, with news that a member of Hendrick Motorsports is the brother of the MIT officer that was killed last night in Cambridge, Mass.

Andrew Collier, who works in the team’s engine department, lost his brother, 26-year-old officer Sean Collier, who was shot following an altercation on the school’s campus and was pronounced dead after arrival at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston yesterday evening. Authorities are reporting that he was killed by the suspects in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings.

Hendrick Motorsports has released the following statement:

“The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports are with Andrew Collier and his family. Andrew, a machinist in the Hendrick Motorsports engine department, tragically lost his brother, Officer Sean Collier, last night in Cambridge, Mass. We ask that the family’s privacy be considered during this difficult time. Andrew, 25, joined Hendrick Motorsports in September 2008.”

Sean Collier, a native of Wilmington, Mass., had been a member of the MIT Police Department since January 2012 following a stint as a civilian employee of the Somerville (Mass.) Police Department. His family has since released a statement, saying that they were “heartbroken” by his loss.

“Our only solace is that Sean died bravely doing what he committed his life to – serving and protecting others,” the statement continued according to the Boston Globe. “We are thankful for the outpouring of support and condolences offered by so many people. We are grieving his loss and ask that the media respect our privacy at this time.”

UPDATE (1:07 p.m. ET): Per the Associated Press, Hendrick Motorsports driver Jimmie Johnson said the following on this matter: “My thoughts and prayers [are] with the Collier family, and I certainly know it’s the same thing with everyone at Hendrick Motorsports. We’re one big family and it’s sad to see a teammate going through this.”

NHRA: Brittany Force cleared to race this weekend in Phoenix after bad wreck 2 weeks ago

Photo: John Force Racing
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Drag racing is a Force family tradition. So, too, is not keeping a Force family member down.

Just 12 days after the most serious wreck of her six-year drag racing career, Brittany Force and John Force Racing announced late Thursday afternoon that the defending 2017 NHRA Top Fuel champion has been medically cleared and will indeed race in this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix, Arizona.

“I flew into Phoenix early this (Thursday) morning and headed straight out to the race track to meet up with my team,” Force said. “I suited up and got belted back into my car that I ran all last season.

“It honestly felt good to be strapped back in and I was surprised how comfortable I was. I’m looking forward to getting back in my car tomorrow (Friday’s first two rounds of qualifying) and getting back in the swing of things with my guys.”

The 31-year-old Force, one of four daughters of 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, suffered a concussion and bruising after the hard crash she was involved in on February 11 in the first round of eliminations of the season-opening NHRA Lucas Oil Winternationals in Pomona, California.

Shortly after leaving the starting line in a race vs. Terry Haddock, Force’s dragster crossed from the right to left lanes, impacted the retaining wall with a very hard lateral crash, bounced off, spun, went on its side and briefly caught fire after crossing the finish line wheels-up.

While she is still recovering from the bruising, Force feels strong enough to get back behind the wheel. Getting back in the race car could be the best medicine of all, since she has three runner-up finishes in Phoenix, including back-to-back second-place showings in both the 2016 and 2017 national events.

The three-day event kicks off Friday with qualifying rounds at 4 and 6:30 p.m. ET, the same times as Saturday’s qualifying. Final eliminations begin at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.