A tribune banner for Eric Medlen, the 2005 Northwest Nationals Funny Car champion who died in March from injuries suffered in a testing accident earlier that week, was available all weekend for racing fans to sign.

Drivers for John Force Racing – Force himself, Ashley Force and Robert Hight – have remembered their fallen teammate by wearing a rubber wristband made by Brittany and Courtney Force, John’s daughters.

“I wear it all the time,” Ashley Force said. “When I leave mine at home, I send someone to go get it.

“We know he’s watching over us. It just shows how many people adored him.”

Top Fuel drivers J.R. Todd and Brandon Bernstein, two of Medlen’s closest friends on the tour, also wear wristbands that bear his name.

Pit stops

The cause of Medlen’s death was determined to be severe head shake. In the months since the accident, his father, John Medlen, has studied safety innovation for Funny Car drivers. One of the inventions for the racers is wearing earplugs that measure the G-force changes during a run.