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Charlie Kimball heads to California to help family battle wildfires

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Earlier today, Charlie Kimball and his wife Kathleen headed to Southern California to assist Kimball’s family in their efforts to battle wildfires that have affected several areas of Southern California, including Ventura County, where Kimball grew up and where his family currently still resides and operates a family ranch.

While Kimball detailed that his family is safe, they may need to evacuate because of the severity of the fires, which have grown substantially since first breaking out earlier this week.

“It’s terrifying seeing the glow of wildfires cover your hometown, especially with so many family members and friends in Ventura County right now,” Kimball said of the fires. “It makes it even harder to be far away, feeling helpless. Thankfully and most importantly our families are safe, but it’s still so devastating to know their farmland is being destroyed. I know it’s a strong community and everyone is coming together to help out.”

Kimball also posted information on his twitter page detailing how people can help relief efforts for everyone affected by the fires.

Additional information about how to help relief efforts can found be on Kimball’s website.

Follow @KyleMLavigne

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
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16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

Follow @JerryBonkowski