Neff races into field
Chicago, Saturday: A severe rain delay brought equal measures of positive and negative outcomes for John Force Racing at the 11th annual Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals. As Top Fuel dragsters began the final round of qualifying the track was deluged by rain storms and tornado warnings. The storms threatened to washout the final session along with Old Spice Ford Mustang Funny Car driver Mike Neff’s chances to qualifying. Neff was sitting on the 17th quickest time on the property as the rain began to fall.
Fortunately for Neff the weather relented and the NHRA Safety Safari performed track prep magic and after an over two and a half hour delay Top Fuel racing wrapped up and Neff was able to race into the field on Sunday with a solid 4.815 second run. The relief was obvious for the rookie driver and former crew chief at the end of the day.
“Getting in was a huge relief. When it started raining and just down pouring I was thinking, ‘Aw man, don’t do this to us.’ I am very thankful that we got to run,” said the frontrunner for the Auto Club Road to the Future Award. “I felt confident that (crew chief) John Medlen and the boys would get this Old Spice Ford Mustang down there if they gave us enough tries at it. I feel a huge relief.”
Neff will face former teammate and driver Gary Scelzi. Neff and Scelzi teamed up to win the 2005 Funny Car championship.
“I like Gary. They are running good,” said Neff. “We ran have run each other a lot in qualifying this season so tomorrow who knows. It could be anybody’s day. He is no different than anybody else.”
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