JFR MUSTANGS RACE INTO SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS IN DENVER -John Force squares off versus teammate Mike Neff in 1st round- (DENVER, CO) --- There is good news and bad news at John Force Racing heads into the eliminations tomorrow at the 29th annual ...
JFR MUSTANGS RACE INTO SUNDAY ELIMINATIONS IN DENVER
-John Force squares off versus teammate Mike Neff in 1st round-
(DENVER, CO) --- There is good news and bad news at John Force Racing heads into the eliminations tomorrow at the 29th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals. The good news is all four JFR Ford Mustangs will be pulling up to the starting line after qualifying for the race. The bad news is team leader John Force will have to face teammate Mike Neff in the first round and all four Force Mustangs are on the same side of the ladder, meaning in a best case scenario only one could potential reach the final.
Castrol GTX High Mileage driver and 14-time champion John Force had the opportunity to avoid racing one of his teammates but his final run of 4.235 was not quick enough to move him up in the field and avoid a JFR vs. JFR match-up. He will have to race rookie of the year favorite Mike Neff in the first round. It is a prospect that the rookie is prepared for even though he did not have picture perfect passes today.
"Force's car is running really good. It is running as good as anybody this weekend. We were on a pretty god run that last session that would have been better than last night's run," said Neff who has reached three finals in the last six races. "It would have been right in there with everybody else spun the tires at 500 feet. That also happened to us this morning. We'll get that fixed and have a good race."
Ashley Force will match-up against points leader and family friend in the first round when she pulls her Castrol GTX Mustang up beside Tim Wilkerson. She knows that personal feelings will be mutually thrown out the window in this race and that stopping the Wilkerson juggernaut is a major opportunity.
"I am excited to run against him. He is a good guy and a really good driver. It is not going to be an easy round but it will make it that much better if we get the win," said the only female to ever lead the Funny Car points."Not only will we be taking out one of the tough teams but taking out the points leader. Instead of hoping other drivers will do that we'd rather get the chance. Maybe we can use that to turn things around this weekend."
The driver who is possibly the most dangerous could be Robert Hight and the Automobile Club of Southern California Mustang. He made two solid runs today and that has given him confidence heading into his first round race with Checker Schuck's and Kragen driver Del Worsham. Hight has a 9-4 record versus Worsham but lately he has been in a bit of slump versus the veteran dropping three of the last four meetings
"We made two good runs in this Auto Club Ford Mustang today up on the hill especially after yesterday. We really it nuked it last night. Two good runs is good today. I think we will learn from that. With this cool concrete track you never know what we can do tomorrow."
Rookie driver and world champion crew chief Mike Neff is eagerly anticipating the racing action at the remodeled Bandimere Speedway. As the day wrapped up Neff reflected on how well all the classes had adapted to the new all concrete track surface and noted that with the reduced track distance for the nitro classes fans might get more than their money's worth.
"Honestly the racing is so close out there it really doesn't even matter who is in the other lane. You are going to have to make four good runs tomorrow to win the race. The track is in great condition. I can't give the Bandimere's enough credit for what they have done here. I believe tomorrow you might see the closest racing we have ever had before in one day."
JOHN FORCE, 59, Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang
Qualifying: 5th at 4.233 seconds, 294.84 mph
First Round Opponent (W/L): Mike Neff (1-1)
Quotable: "Today was a good day for John Force Racing. It is a tough deal having to race (Mike) Neff in the first round but it guarantees one of us will get to the second round. We will all do our best for all our sponsors like Castrol, Ford, AAA, Old Spice, BrandSource, Sanyo and Mac Tools."
ASHLEY FORCE, 25, Castrol GTX Ford Mustang
Qualifying: 13th at 4.282 seconds, 290.76 mph
First Round Opponent (W/L): Tim Wilkerson (1-2)
Quotable: "I am excited to run against him. He is a good guy and a really good driver. It is not going to be an easy round but it will make it that much better if we get the win. Not only will we be taking out one of the tough teams but taking out the points leader."
ROBERT HIGHT, 38, Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang
Qualifying: 8th at 4.243 seconds, 288.70 mph
First Round Opponent (W/L): Del Worsham (9-4)
Quotable: "I want to thank John Bandimere and their whole family for what they have done. They promised us concrete last year when we left. We come back to cool concrete. That is pretty good stuff."
MIKE NEFF, 41, Old Spice Ford Mustang
Qualifying: 12th at 4.275 seconds, 292.33 mph
First Round Opponent (W/L): John Force (1-1)
Quotable: "I believe tomorrow you might see the closest racing we have ever had before in one day."