Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals
First-round glitch doesn't hurt Neff
Sonoma, Sunday: In the first round Mike Neff and the Old Spice Ford Mustang were looking to make a move up the point standings but versus Cruz Pedregon his staging focus was interrupted by an errant radio squelch. Just as Pedregon was rolling in to join an already staged Neff, Neff was distracted enough to force a disastrous .385 reaction time.
"I was staged. I rolled in, lit both of my lights and I was watching for his stage lights. Somehow something got keyed over the radio and there was a loud squelch. At that point I was right one the edge just waiting to go,” said the rookie driver. “That loud sound on the radio made me jump and I squeezed into the throttle just a little. From there it just totally screwed me up,” said the front-runner for 2008 Rookie of the Year honors.
“I revved it up maybe a 1,000 rpm. Once I did that I had to look to make sure it didn’t roll through and turn on the red light. At that point I knew I was late. I wanted to let the car get set again to make sure I didn’t double hit it. I didn’t want to have the car moving, at least now I’m giving it a chance to go. You could hope something happened to him maybe,” added Neff.Luckily, all the drivers vying to more into the Top Ten were neutralized and there was no movement upwards around Neff allowing him to hold onto his No. 9 position with only three races left until the Countdown begins.
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