Pomona: John Force Racing Friday notes

MIKE NEFF, COURTNEY FORCE CONTINUE TO SHINE AT WINTERNATIONALS It was a day of firsts for Top Alcohol Dragster driver Courtney Force and fellow rookie John Force Racing teammate Mike Neff continued to dominate at the 48th annual CARQUEST Auto ...

MIKE NEFF, COURTNEY FORCE CONTINUE TO SHINE AT WINTERNATIONALS

It was a day of firsts for Top Alcohol Dragster driver Courtney Force and fellow rookie John Force Racing teammate Mike Neff continued to dominate at the 48th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Rookie of the Year candidate Neff accelerated his learning curve on the track with the best run of all four John Force Racing Ford Mustangs, a blistering 4.840 second pass at 317.64 mph in his Old Spice Ford Mustang. With each pass his confidence continues to grow and maintaining his spot at the top of the field helps.

"It gives us a lot of confidence. It is important to me. I need all the runs down the track that I can get," said the former motocross and off-road truck competitor, Neff. "Also we have the new Ford motor, the new chassis, and all the new stuff so we are learning something every time we go down the track. It is very important to continue to improve and I feel very encouraged with how we have been doing.

Neff also credited his two days of success to the jelling of his young team under the leadership of crew chief John Medlen.

"(John) Medlen is doing a great job on his end with the tune up and the guys on this Old Spice team are doing a great job. As long as I can keep it between the lines we'll keep looking pretty good," added the Hemet, California native.

Career marks continued to fall for Courtney Force, daughter of 14-time Funny Car champion John Force, as she powered her A Fuel dragster to a career best E.T. and mph (5.506, 261.32) during the first qualifying session today.

That time was quick enough to hold onto the 14th qualifying spot heading into tomorrow's first round of sportsman eliminations. Her success even surprised the former high school cheerleader.

"I'm shocked. My dad (Funny Car Champion John Force) drilled into my head to just go out there and get a few runs in. He told me not to treat it like a national event. He wanted to make me feel more comfortable," said the first year TAD driver.

The impact of her early success is not lost on the youngest Force daughter.

"(Qualifying for a) national race is a pretty big deal and I am pretty surprised. I'm getting more comfortable in the car and it makes me feel al lot better. I am getting more used to racing against other people and just getting more practice. I am still learning," gushed an excited Force after her final session.

Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang driver Robert Hight continued to struggle on the famed quarter mile track. A finalist at the Winternationals in 2007 Hight and his crew chief Jimmy Prock are still searching for the right combination.

"Our Mustang was just too fast, the clutch came on too hard and it over powered the track. We haven't got it yet but we will. This Ford Mustang can still go to the top of the field tomorrow. If this car goes it ought to run 75 or 76. The car is right there," said a confident Hight.

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ROBERT HIGHT, 38, Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang #Friday Qualifying: Has the 21st quickest qualifying time of 7.439 seconds, 114.07 mph. #Quotable: "We haven't got it yet but we will. Baby steps with the tune up might not get you there and going too much will give you shake. We have to get it right and we will. This Ford Mustang can still go to the top of the field tomorrow. If this car goes it ought to run 4.75 or 4.76. The car is right there."

MIKE NEFF, 40, Old Spice Ford Mustang
Friday Qualifying: 4th at 4.840 seconds, 317.64 mph.
Quotable: "It gives us a lot of confidence. It is important to me. I need all the runs down the track that I can get. Also we have the new Ford motor, the new chassis, and all the new stuff so we are learning something every time we go down the track. It is very important to continue to improve and I feel very encouraged with how we have been doing."

COURTNEY FORCE, 19, John Force Racing A Fuel Dragster
Qualifying position and performance: 14th at 5.506 seconds, 261.32 mph.
Quotable: "A national event is a pretty big deal. I am pretty surprised I qualified and I am sure my dad is too. I'm getting more comfortable in the car and it makes me feel al lot better. I am getting more used to racing against other people and just getting more practice."

-credit: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Robert Hight , John Medlen , Mike Neff , Courtney Force