ENNIS - Drag-racing star John Force was alert and conscious after suffering serious injuries Sunday in a wreck with Funny Car rival Kenny Bernstein in the O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.

The former NHRA series champion crashed during the second round of eliminations, just after the two cars crossed the finish line, according to reports, which said Bernstein drifted into Force's lane after clipping the final timing cone and apparently blowing a tire. The two cars then collided.

Bernstein was uninjured, but Force had to be helped from his wrecked machine before being airlifted to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Team spokesman Elon Werner said Force broke his left ankle and his left wrist. The 58-year-old driver was being treated at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

Werner said Force, a 14-time champion, was to undergo surgery Sunday night to clean up several deep abrasions.