only is Don Schumacher seeking a replacement for the non-retiring,
sabbatical-taking Gary Scelzi for next year, but he’ll be seeking a crew chief
as well. Schumacher confirmed that Mike “Zippy” Neff will leave the team at the
end of the year to drive a fourth Funny Car for John Force Racing.
Neff informed me Saturday morning in Seattle that he is going over to John
Force Racing next year and drive the fourth Funny Car,” Schumacher said.
said the move came as no real surprise to him. He said that it had been
discussed prior to Neff’s decision to leave but felt it was a non-issue. In
Seattle, it became an issue again.
had talked to me about it about a month or so ago,” Schumacher said. “He
committed to me in Denver on Thursday and Friday that everything was fine and
that he’s staying with me. We shook hands and a commitment was in place. He
told me that he was not going over there and that was that.
on Friday in Seattle we talked and John Force had been working him, working
him, and working him about driving a race car there [JFR Racing] and that was
the chance of a lifetime.”