By Martha Maglone, February 1, 2015
YORBA LINDA, CA – Top talent Mike Neff will continue as crew chief for Robert Hight’s Auto Club Camaro SS Funny Car, but John Force Racing (JFR) has announced promotions that will expand the youth and depth of its team positions.
Starting with the promotion of Jon Schaffer as crew chief of 16-time Funny Car champion John Force. Previously Schaffer worked with Mike Neff as his assistant crew chief, but the 27 year-old Californian will be making the calls on Force’s PEAK Camaro SS Funny Car beginning with testing in Phoenix. Long-time crewman Tim Fabrisi will be stepping up to assist Neff on the Auto Club Camaro SS Funny Car.
“We have developed the next generation of drivers,” said Force, “and now I want to do the same thing with our crew chiefs. We have so much young talent…I want to start giving these guys a chance to grow and develop their skills. Mike Neff, Ron Douglas, Dean Antonelli, Todd Smith and Dan Hood have a lot of experience and we want to continue to be competitive at a championship level. Guys like Jon Schaffer and Tim Fabrisi as well as new hires, Ronnie Thompson and Nick Casertano, will keep us young and on the cutting edge.”
In addition to Schaffer’s promotion JFR has added car chief Nick Casertano to the PEAK Camaro SS Funny Car team. On the Top Fuel team led by Todd Smith, JFR has hired Ronnie Thompson to assist Smith with the Top Fuel dragster piloted by Brittany Force. Thompson was previously with Al-Anabi Racing working on Khalid AlBalooshi’s Top Fuel dragster. The Traxxas Camaro SS Funny Car will continue to be led by Ron Douglas and Dan Hood.
Long-time crew chief Dean “Guido” Antonelli has been promoted to General Manager of the JFR Brownsburg shop. Antonelli’s vast experience with both Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars will be critical to the expansion of this profit center for John Force Racing.