Mike Neff is pretty adamant about what he would have done differently during his recent DNQ at Atlanta – nothing.
Neff became the fourth driver out of the top six Funny Car point earners to miss the cut in at least one race this season.
“Stuff just happens and we got some bad breaks,” Neff said. “Just bad timing and it just brings to light how tough this is. Things can and will go wrong. You can never take anything for granted. It’s been a long time for me since I failed to qualify. Even then, it was just an issue where down track we’d have something go wrong.
“We had an ignition issue on the first run and popped the blower off of it. It was on a good run that would have put it in the field solidly. The second run I was a bit too aggressive. Saturday’s first run, it put a cylinder out and screwed the run up. I entered the final session needing only to make a run good enough to get in the field.
“We backed it down, it’s trucking down there and it looks like we are going to qualify. Then it shoots a snap ring out of the barrel valve, leans out the engine and pops the blower about five hundred feet and pops the parachute out. I ran a 4.35 and needed a 4.32 to get in.”
Neff responded this weekend in Topeka with the quickest run of the four-car John Force Racing team, a 4.063 to qualify third. He didn’t make changes to the car for this weekend confirming the Atlanta incidents were just a matter of misfortune.
“It just wasn’t meant to be. Being the man of faith I am, I know that sometimes things happen for a reason. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s a bummer but certainly nothing I am going to dwell on.
“Certainly it was disappointing and you do something like that and you feel you have let everyone down. People are counting on you. I had done everything I could. Do I have regrets? Would I have changed anything? Not really. I did everything I was supposed to do and just ran into bad circumstances.
“Maybe if I had qualified something bad might have happened. I’m still up in the points and doing fine. It’s the first time I ever had the Countdown do me a favor.”
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