Las Vegas: Mike Neff preview

NEFF HOPES ADJUSTMENTS HIT JACKPOT FOR FORD DRIVE ONE TEAM IN VEGAS LAS VEGAS, NEV (March 31, 2009) --- Mike Neff's sophomore season as a Funny Car driver is starting out much better than his rookie year when you consider at this point last...

NEFF HOPES ADJUSTMENTS HIT JACKPOT FOR FORD DRIVE ONE TEAM IN VEGAS

LAS VEGAS, NEV (March 31, 2009) --- Mike Neff's sophomore season as a Funny Car driver is starting out much better than his rookie year when you consider at this point last season he had an 0-6 career round record. So far this season he has reached a final (in Phoenix) and qualified in the top half of the field the past three events. He is still looking for his first career win with crew chief John Medlen and hopes are high for the 10th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"I always like going to Vegas. It is a good race track. I feel like the car is running good. I feel like we are making the right calls things just weren't working the way we thought they would. I think we can make a couple of little adjustments here and there and we'll be right back into the swing of things," said the 2008 Rookie of the Year.

Last weekend in Houston Neff and crew chief John Medlen continued to fine tune his Ford Drive One Mustang. In the first round they simply missed on a timing decision that hurt them in their first round match-up with Tony Pedregon on a tricky Houston track.

"The clutch started sooner than we wanted it to. We are still working out some of the new things we put on this Mustang over the winter. This track was tricky. Things that we have gotten away with the last couple of races caught us here but we feel good about it. We are learning what moves to make," said Neff.

Even though the race would not be considered a success Neff was reunited with crew chief John Medlen after a two race hiatus as Medlen recovered from a heart procedure. Neff pulled double duty in Phoenix and Gainesville but that experience gives the team a new attitude, and they feel an advantage, when it comes to tuning and driving.

"(Running the team) helped for me to learn about what we are doing. I am now in a better position to give my opinion after running this Mustang," said Neff, 2005 world championship crew chief for Gary Scelzi.

Medlen also saw the immediate advantages of having Neff understand the John Force Racing tuning method. He was also personally excited to be back at the track doing what he loves.

"It feels great to be back at the track. Mike gained a lot of input into what we are doing those two races he handled everything on his own. He was really successful and we are trying to build on that," said Medlen. "We got more information on some of the new things we were doing those two races and that was a building block to what we are doing from now on. Now we have to learn what it too much and what is not enough. Being back together has been great."

This one-two crew chief driver punch is looking forward to getting back to the track and hopefully into the winner's circle.

-credit: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Gary Scelzi , John Medlen , Mike Neff