Richmond: Mike Neff preview

NEFF LOOKING FOR ROOKIE OF THE YEAR MAGIC IN RICHMOND RICHMOND, VA (October 6, 2009) --- Mike Neff will be celebrating his 2008 Rookie of the Year award with a specialty paint scheme at the 4th annual NHRA Virginia Nationals this weekend. The...

NEFF LOOKING FOR ROOKIE OF THE YEAR MAGIC IN RICHMOND

RICHMOND, VA (October 6, 2009) --- Mike Neff will be celebrating his 2008 Rookie of the Year award with a specialty paint scheme at the 4th annual NHRA Virginia Nationals this weekend. The Ford Drive One Mustang that Neff has campaigned all season has been redesigned as a surfer themed Woody style ride complete with a caricature of Neff "hanging ten" on the side. For a driver who keeps his emotions in check the new look has Neff pretty excited.

"I think it is pretty neat. It is something different. It is a little off the wall. I am sure I might catch a little flack about the caricature on the side but that is alright. They did a really good job of getting my abs just right like they are in real life so I am really pleased about that. My M.O. has always been to not get too excited one way or the other over much good or bad. I grew up in Huntington Beach and lived there for ten years through high school. We would go surfing on the weekends or every chance we got," said Neff.

"I think the whole theme is cool. The way the wave comes off the rear part of the Mustang I think people will really talk about it. (John Force Racing graphic designer) Brandon Baker and our design team did a great job on the whole look. We did the whole thing in-house with the exception of the drawing of me which artist Chuck D did. The wood grain looks great. I can't think of too many active drivers that have been on the side of their own cars. I know (John) Force has had a couple and (Gary) Scelzi raced a car with his face on it in Denver one year."

While Neff is thrilled with the new Mustang he would like nothing better than to see his new look in the NHRA Virginia Nationals winners circle. With two final rounds to his credit in 2009, Phoenix and Reading, the world champion crew chief wants to get some wins as a driver.

"We want to win. We want to win a race. We want to finish strong. Winning a race and going some rounds in the Countdown would show that we are performing well. That is the main thing for us," said the No. 9 driver in Funny Car points.

In Memphis Neff and the Ford Drive One team narrowly missed on the Friday night session and were forced to race their way into the show on Saturday. They could not break into the top half of the field and by Neff's post race comments he knew that hurt them.

"(In Memphis) we had a close race in the first round. That can be the penalty for qualifying down at the bottom. You know you are going to get somebody that is running good. Tony Pedregon has been running good all weekend. We gave him a good race we just came up a little short. That is the luck of the draw," said Neff.

-credit: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Mike Neff