Englishtown: Mike Neff preview

NEFF LOOKING TO GET BACK TO FINALS AT ENGLISHTOWN ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (June 8, 2009) --- At last year's NHRA SuperNationals Mike Neff had the car to beat at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. He raced to his third career final round but lost...

NEFF LOOKING TO GET BACK TO FINALS AT ENGLISHTOWN

ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (June 8, 2009) --- At last year's NHRA SuperNationals Mike Neff had the car to beat at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. He raced to his third career final round but lost to red-hot Tim Wilkerson. Last weekend in Chicago Neff had the most consistent Funny Car on the property as he made seven consecutive laps with an average elapsed time of 4.116 seconds. Once again he ran up against a red-hot driver this time it was teammate Ashley Force Hood in the semi-finals and her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang had a little more than Neff's Ford Drive One Mustang.

"We had a really positive weekend (in Chicago). The Mustang ran well every run which is nice. We are able to learn a lot more when you are going down the track. You get a chance to make seven runs in a weekend instead to four or five. It feels good for all of us at John Force Racing. Robert (Hight) ran well. John (Force) ran well. It feels good to feel like we made some forward progress. I am looking forward to going to Englishtown," said the 2008 Auto Club Road to the Future Award winner.

Neff and crew chief John Medlen know the winner's circle is calling their name but they just need a break or two to go their way. They are cranking out enough power from their BOSS 500 motor to power a city block and Neff has been doing a masterful job of driving -- solid reaction times and keeping his Mustang in the groove -- the second year combo has not captured their mojo yet.

For the world champion crew chief turned driver he knows that all it takes is a little momentum to race up the point standings. His Ford Drive One Mustang is sitting in 11th place in the Full Throttle points standings a mere 14 points behind 10th place Cruz Pedregon. In Chicago they picked up a few points by out qualifying the 2008 Funny Car champion but they both raced to semi-final finishes. Neff just needs to go one more round than Pedregon to muscle his way into the Top Ten.

In the second round of Chicago Neff had to race teammate and boss John Force. He admitted that even though they work together and race together there is still something special about pulling up beside the 14-time champion on race day.

"There is nothing like racing John Force. Boss or no boss. We are racing straight up. It is just awesome to be able to pull up next to him. He has so much determination and drive it just is just a highlight to be able to race him," said Neff, who has a 3-1 record versus the winningest driver in NHRA history.

-credit: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Tim Wilkerson , Ashley Force , John Medlen , Mike Neff