Neff's inclusion in Countdown gives JFR four cars in POWERade playoffs

Mike Neff can cross one goal off his to-do list: advancing to the NHRA's Countdown to 1. Can his first victory -- and perhaps even a Funny Car title -- be too far behind?

Updated: August 20, 2008, 8:22 PM ET
By Bill Stephens | Special to ESPN.com

Every year, the NHRA presents the AAA Road to the Future award to the season's most outstanding rookie driver. Over the years, familiar names such as Del Worsham, Jeg Coughlin Jr., Ron Capps, Tony Pedregon, Ashley Force and Brandon Bernstein have graced the rookie trophy.

In 2008, it's almost a given that whatever driver claims that accolade will be among the 10 drivers in his or her respective category to advance to the Countdown to 1 -- the decisive stretch of six NHRA POWERade ...

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