MIKE NEFF ROOKIE FRONT-RUNNER NEFF TARGETS SUPPORTING TEAMMATES RICHMOND, VA (October 6, 2008) --- Rookie of the Year front-runner Mike Neff hasn't completely conceded the 2008 POWERade championship but he realistically knows that too many...
ROOKIE FRONT-RUNNER NEFF TARGETS SUPPORTING TEAMMATES
RICHMOND, VA (October 6, 2008) --- Rookie of the Year front-runner Mike Neff hasn't completely conceded the 2008 POWERade championship but he realistically knows that too many drivers in front of him would have to stumble to give the Old Spice Ford Mustang a chance. Three of those drivers are his teammates so Neff is focusing on giving them every advantage by knocking out as many Countdown competitors as possible.
In Memphis Neff took out one of the hottest drivers lately when he trailered Jack Beckman in the second round at Memphis Motorsports Park. Neff knew that getting past Beckman would dramatically help out teammate Robert Hight as well as Ashley Force and John Force. Heading into the race Neff was confident but he was also excited.
"I felt it was going to be a good tight race. Really the biggest thing was I wanted to be able to help out the team. I wanted to be able to help Robert, John and Ashley out. We just wanted to do our part. That is what needs to happen," said Neff. "For one of these cars to win the championship the other ones are going to need to stop these other guys that are in contention. I knew it was a big run but I wasn't all worked up. I just wanted to make sure we did our job."
Neff has been the consummate teammate all season beginning with his partnership with Old Spice crew chief John Medlen. Throughout the season Neff has worked with Robert Hight and Jimmy Prock on the Auto Club team acting as a sounding board for their championship contending team. Neff has also enjoyed being a teammate with 2007 rookie of the year Ashley Force as both young drivers continue to pick up driving skills and techniques from Hight and team leader John Force.
"That is the thing about being here at JFR is this is a team. It is one team and you really want to be able to help your teammates out when you have the opportunity," added Neff.
As the season wraps up Neff is considered the front-runner for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, presented annually to the professional rookie of the year. In a recent post on nhra.com National DRAGSTER editor Phil Burgess summed up Neff's rookie statistics and chances,
"You probably couldn't ask for more from a stone driving rookie than Mike Neff has given JFR and sponsor Old Spice this year, and he's sure to be awarded the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award at season's end as the year's top rookie. After a highlight-filled early season in which he reached his first final (Madison, where he lost to Tim Wilkerson) and scored his first No. 1 qualifying spot (Bristol, where he should have won the final against Melanie Troxel)..."