On Friday, during the 43rd annual Automobile Club of Southern California Finals,
John Medlen, manager of ongoing safety initiatives for John Force Racing, Inc.,
accepted a special multi-image portrait of his son, Eric, commissioned for him
by parts manufacturer Mike Thermos.
Eric Medlen, one of the rising stars of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing
Series and the first of JFR’s Next Generation drivers, succumbed last March to
injuries suffered in a Funny Car testing accident at Gainesville, Fla.
The portrait study, by artist Paul Hinds, is entitled “Full of Life” and,
according to Thermos, the founder of NOS (Nitrous Oxide Systems) and president
of Nitrous Supply, Inc., was created to honor the memory of a driver, family and
team that has been an inspiration to the entire drag racing community.
In addition to his work in race car safety, John Medlen is an accomplished
crew chief who won the 2003 NHRA championship with driver Tony Pedregon and who,
with his son driving the Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang, won six times in three
years and never finished outside the Top 5 in the NHRA Funny Car standings.