NEFF LOOKING TO TURN TOPEKA QUALIFYING SUCCESS INTO WIN IN CHICAGO CHICAGO (June 3, 2009) --- 2008 Rookie of the Year Mike Neff will make his second start at Rt. 66 Raceway as a driver this weekend for the 12th annual United Association NHRA Rt.
NEFF LOOKING TO TURN TOPEKA QUALIFYING SUCCESS INTO WIN IN CHICAGO
CHICAGO (June 3, 2009) --- 2008 Rookie of the Year Mike Neff will make his second start at Rt. 66 Raceway as a driver this weekend for the 12th annual United Association NHRA Rt. 66 Nationals in Joliet. He is still looking for his first career win and after his overall performance at Heartland Park Topeka last weekend he has high hopes for this weekend.
"We had a strong qualifying performance in Topeka on a hot, hot track. This weekend in Chicago the weather should be cooler and we'll try and get a win as well as qualify strong. John Medlen and this team have been great all season. We will get it done," said Mike Neff.
In Topeka Neff and his Ford Drive One Mustang team led by crew chief John Medlen qualified fourth and made the most impressive run of the Saturday's Funny Car session when they covered the 1000 foot track in 4.19 seconds. Unfortunately, a dropped cylinder in the first round derailed their chances to see if they could challenge for the win.
"That first round loss was a surprise. You never know what can happen when you are racing a guy like Del Worsham but we were confident. Our run on Saturday was great and we were looking to go some rounds in Sunday. The one thing about these Funny Cars is so many things have to go right to get a win. I have a great team and I have a ton of confidence in John Medlen and my guys. I know we can get this Mustang trucking and get right back into the Full Throttle Championship hunt," said a confident Neff.
Heading into Topeka Neff's team had a ton of new information from a Bristol test session and that information will continue to pay dividends for his team as they prepare for Chicago.
"(In Bristol) we were just trying to learn a few things. My Ford Drive One Mustang got better every run. We were trying stuff to make it run quick and fast instead of just trying to lug it to the finish line. We were really trying to make it haul down a hot track. With each run it went further and then further so we feel like we are going in the right direction," said Neff.
Last year in Chicago Neff bounced back from his first career DNQ in Topeka by qualifying 11th and dropping a first round race with former teammate Gary Scelzi. This year Neff is looking to race back into the Top 10. If he would have picked up one round win in Topeka he would have moved into the Top 10 around 2008 Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon. As they sit now Neff is only 16 points -- less than one round of racing - behind Pedregon. A strong performance could move the 2005 Funny Car Champion crew chief into the Top 10 and position him to make a run up the leader board.