NEFF WANTS SECOND CHARLOTTE "WIN" CHARLOTTE (September 10, 2008) --- In May Mike Neff toured the under construction zMAX Dragway at Concord with 14-time Funny Car champion, teammate and boss John Force. They got a firsthand look at the state ...
NEFF WANTS SECOND CHARLOTTE "WIN"
CHARLOTTE (September 10, 2008) --- In May Mike Neff toured the under construction zMAX Dragway at Concord with 14-time Funny Car champion, teammate and boss John Force. They got a firsthand look at the state of the art complex and they were even allowed to make a pass to get acquainted with the new facility. Granted the "race" was in giant Volvo dump trucks on the newly graded "racetrack" but in Neff's mind when he crossed the finish line well ahead of the winningest driver in drag racing history a win was a win.
The next day Neff wowed the Coca-Cola 600 crowd with a tremendous burn-out down pit road prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup event. Neff backed up and positioned his 8,000 hp fuel coupe for the first full powered NHRA burnout in the history of Lowes Motor Speedway. When Neff hit the throttle a massive cloud of smoke bellowed from his Mustang and as he powered down pit road past many of the stars of NASCAR the roar of the crowd was deafening.
"That was awesome. Making that burn-out was incredible. I had to get off the throttle because I could feel my Old Spice Mustang starting to really pull. I think it was about to hook-up on pit road. When I got to the end of pit road there were people everywhere congratulating me on putting on such a great show," said Neff.
He has put on a good show on the NHRA POWERade tour as well reaching three finals and grabbing one number one qualifier so far this season. As the only rookie in the Countdown to 1 Neff feels like he has already reached one of his goals for the 2008 season.
"Getting in the Countdown to 1 was definitely one of our goals at the beginning of the year. We really wanted to get in there. It feels good to get that monkey off our back."
Making the Countdown to 1 was a major step for the former world championship crew chief but there is one goal on the horizon that Neff and his Old Spice team have narrowly missed and he hopes that this weekend in Charlotte he can check getting his first win off his to-do list.
"I don't really feel we have hit our stride yet. It kind of goes in cycles some guys will get hot for a couple of races and some guys get cold for a couple of races. There is a cycle to these things. I think we got a little bit going when we made it to those two finals back-to-back," said Neff of his St. Louis and Bristol efforts. "Hopefully we can get hot again. We have been struggling here a little bit but we showed a better sign of life today in Reading. If we can get a little bit of momentum and hit our stride to pound out a few good races in a row I think that will be the key."
Neff and crew chief John Medlen have meshed into one of the best driver crew chief combinations in the Funny Car ranks. They are constantly conferring and discussing options and how Neff's BOSS 500 powered Mustang is running. Neff however defers to Medlen on all tuning decisions and feels that he can concentrate on driving better knowing that Medlen and his crew will have the car set up perfectly.
"The goal at the very beginning of the year at least how I viewed it was make the Countdown to 1. That was our first goal and then after that we want to try to be a contender. We are going to be spotting those guys quite a few points ahead of us but you never know what can happen once you get to the race track," added Neff.