Pomona: Mike Neff preview

NEFF READY TO GET BACK TO TRACK POMONA (February 3, 2009) --- The last time Mike Neff raced at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona he was the No. 1 qualifier and had the strongest Funny Car of the day on Sunday. Unfortunately a malfunction in the timing...

NEFF READY TO GET BACK TO TRACK

POMONA (February 3, 2009) --- The last time Mike Neff raced at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona he was the No. 1 qualifier and had the strongest Funny Car of the day on Sunday. Unfortunately a malfunction in the timing box derailed the 2008 Rookie of the Year's quest to end the season on a winning note.

As the 2009 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series gets underway this weekend the second year driver knows that expectations are still high and he feels better about being behind the wheel of his John Force Racing Ford Mustang.

"I feel a whole lot better going into this season than I did last season. I feel a lot more comfortable. Now I can try and start concentrating on being a better driver. I am more familiar with everything. I'll be working on those little things that make a good driver better like staging shallow, being smooth and having good reaction times," said Neff. "Last year was so overwhelming everything was new and it was hard to be able to concentrate on all the little things. I was just concentrating on the big things like keeping it in the middle of my lane and just trying to get it to the other end."

With three final round appearances in 2008 Neff is gunning for his first win and he knows that it will be a tremendous accomplishment as well as an emotional event.

"That will be a great moment (the first win) when we can do that. It will be awesome for me, but more for (crew chief) John Medlen and this team. Since the loss of Eric and everything they have been through it will be real special. The biggest thing is for John Medlen and Eric Medlen. We want to try and carry on where Eric left off and he was a winner. I think it will be a real emotional thing but also a great thing for this whole team," added Neff.

A new season means every team has a shot at the Full Throttle Championship and Neff knows his team will be right in the mix. Last year as the only rookie to make the Countdown to 1 he was in more of a support role for his John Force Racing teammates. This year the first race of the year has the former crew chief ready to go.

"I feel good about going to Pomona. We ran really well there at the Auto Club Finals. We accomplished what we needed to testing in Phoenix. It looks like the weather conditions are going to be cool so I expect Pomona to be a real fast field. I know these Ford Mustangs make a lot of power and I am really excited to get back to Pomona and try and pick up where we left off," said Neff.

-credit: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , John Medlen , Mike Neff