Mike Neff Earns Ford’s 200th Funny Car Win; Milestone Reached As Ford Racing Celebrates 110th Anniversary
Scorching temperatures couldn’t keep Mike Neff from making magic for Ford Racing at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago.
Neff earned Ford’s 200th Funny Car win – an incredible statistic 44 years in the making - with a 4.246-second finish at 293.22 mph, defeating Jeff Arend in the final round. It took Neff only one race to make the mark. He earned Ford’s 199th win at the previous race in Norwalk, Ohio. Neff reached this milestone as Ford Racing celebrates its 110th anniversary this year.
To get that 200th win, that’s something that goes down in the record books.
“This is a big moment for Ford Racing and Ford race fans,” said Jamie Allison, Director of Motorsports, Ford North America. “Congratulations to Mike Neff, John Force Racing and all the Ford drivers that contributed to this magical 200th win. We are very proud, especially to have this win be in a Mustang. It's a fitting tribute to the most successful model in NHRA Funny Car history.”
It was the fourth win of the season in a crushing seven final rounds for Neff, who not only drives but also serves as crew chief for his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang.
The statistics are astounding. In 200 Funny Car wins for Ford, 173 were earned in a Mustang. Neff contributed five of those, while team owner John Force added the bulk of the wins with 69. Robert Hight earned 22, one of which was John Force Racing’s 200th Funny Car victory. Hight earned that stat for the heavyweight team in Topeka, Kan. this year.
“It’s a huge honor,” Neff said. “Ford’s a great supporter of ours and they’ve helped us with a lot of this technology. It’s the finest American company there is in my opinion and I’m proud to represent them. To get that 200th win, that’s something that goes down in the record books. Something that’ll always be remembered. It’s just a huge honor for us at John Force Racing to be able to get that for them. I can’t thank them enough for all that they do.”
MIKE NEFF IN A FORD MUSTANG
- Neff has earned five wins in a Ford Mustang in the NHRA Full Throttle Series, four of which have come this year.
FORD’S RACE TO 200 FAST FACTS:
- One-hundred and seventy-three of those wins were in a Mustang.
- Winningest Ford Funny Car driver: John Force, with 69 (1997-2010).
- First Ford Funny Car win: Tommy Grove, 1967 in Bristol, Tenn.
- By State, Ford has the most wins in California. And fittingly, Ford has the most wins (20) at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, in Southern California – the birthplace of NHRA Drag Racing. Heartland Park – Topeka (13) and The Texas Motorplex (13) are next, with Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis rounding out the top tier (12).
- Ford Racing is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year. It’s been 110 years since Henry Ford raced to a win in his first – and only – race, in a car named Sweepstakes. He used his winnings to found Ford Motor Company.
By: Ford Racing