Las Vegas test notes, day three

ANDERSON MAKES MOST OF FINAL TEST SESSION; NEFF CLOSER TO FUNNY CAR LICENSE LAS VEGAS -- If Greg Anderson doesn't find exactly what he was looking for during three days of testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it's not ...

ANDERSON MAKES MOST OF FINAL TEST SESSION; NEFF CLOSER TO FUNNY CAR LICENSE

LAS VEGAS -- If Greg Anderson doesn't find exactly what he was looking for during three days of testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it's not through lack of effort.

Anderson and his Summit Racing team completed more than 20 passes at the last-minute session, 10th of which were on Day 3. For comparison, winning NHRA POWERade Series teams make a maximum of four laps on race day with maintenance between each round.

His quickest attempt was a 6.726 second pass at 204.17 mph.

Anderson brought his teammate Jason Line, the defending world champion who narrowly missed the Countdown to 1, and some of his crew to testing so the Ken Black Racing-owned team could cover more ground.

"We'll never find everything you're looking for," Anderson said. "We're nitpicking and seeing what this track does like and what it doesn't like. Hopefully we won't make those wrong moves during the race."

The NHRA POWERade Series comes to Las Vegas next weekend for the seventh annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Oct. 25-28. This final test session was especially important for Anderson, a three-time world champion who's reaching for every bit of power he can to knock Dave Connolly out of the No. 1 spot in the points. Connolly's won an unearthly five events in a row in Pro Stock and his Cagnazzi Racing teammate Jeg Coughlin is right behind Anderson in third place entering the final two events of the year. Allen Johnson rounds out the Countdown to 1.

Anderson planned to head home Thursday night and be back in the shop Friday morning for five days of work they'll do before the truck heads to the West Coast for Las Vegas again.

"If we didn't learn anything over the last few days, we're doing something wrong," Anderson said. "We've done all we can do. Now we've got to go back and sort through everything we did. Look at the weather conditions, and make the best guess we can (for race day)."

Brandon Bernstein was the sole Top Fuel entry on the track Thursday, clocking a 4.636 at 306.88 in his Budweiser/Lucas Oil ride. Tony Pedregon fielded the quickest Funny Car on the track, driving his Q Horsepower Chevy Impala SS to a 4.733 at 318.54.

Mike Neff, the newest driver tapped for John Force Racing, completed the required runs he needed to earn an NHRA Funny Car license. His paperwork will now be submitted to NHRA for approval.

"Definitely just knowing as much as I do about it, how it all works has been a big advantage," said Neff, a decorated crew chief who tuned Gary Scelzi to the world championship in 2005. "The challenge is getting used to accelerating that fast, seeing and knowing where we're at, and getting a grip on that. We made a few runs and everything is slowing down a little bit. I'm feeling better with every run."

Neff replaced the late Eric Medlen, who died after a testing accident in Florida in March. Eric's father John will stay on as his crew chief, Neff said.

"Everybody over here (at John Force Racing) has had a tough year," Neff said. "It's been great to see John tune the car again and see him excited again, to be able to race this car again. It's definitely the most excited I've seen him in a long time."

-credit: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Tony Pedregon , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Greg Anderson , Brandon Bernstein , Allen Johnson , Jason Line , Eric Medlen , Dave Connolly , Ken Black , Mike Neff