Jon Schaffer has been promoted to crew chief for 16-time Funny Car world champion John Force’s Peak Camaro SS Funny Car. John Force Racing’s brain trust will continue to be led by Mike Neff, crew chief for Robert Hight’s Auto Club Camaro SS Funny Car.
Previously, Schaffer worked with Neff as his assistant crew chief, but the 27-year-old Californian will be making the calls on Force’s car beginning with testing in Phoenix. Longtime crewmember Tim Fabrisi will be stepping up to assist Neff on the Auto Club Camaro SS Funny Car, and Nick Casertano has been added to the Peak team as car chief.
“We have developed the next generation of drivers, and now I want to do the same thing with our crew chiefs,” said an excited Force. “We have so much young talent; I want to start giving these guys a chance to grow and develop their talents. Mike Neff, Ron Douglas, Dean Antonelli, Todd Smith, and Dan Hood have a lot of experience, and we want to continue to grow and 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.”
On the Top Fuel team led by Todd Smith, JFR has hired Thompson to assist Smith on the dragster piloted by Brittany Force. Thompson was previously with Al-Anabi Racing, working on Khalid alBalooshi’s Top Fueler.
The Traxxas Camaro SS Funny Car driven by Courtney Force will continue to be led by Douglas and Hood.
Longtime crew chief Dean “Guido” Antonelli has been promoted to general manager of the JFR Brownsburg, Ind., shop. Antonelli will continue to be an integral part of the JFR crew chief brain trust and will see his duties grow to oversee the rapidly expanding parts-manufacturing operation in Brownsburg. Antonelli’s vast experience with both Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars will be critical to the expansion of this profit center for JFR.
“We will always have a brain trust, and our lead man will be Mike Neff. You have to have stability, and that is one thing that we have had over the past couple of decades. You don’t win as many championships as we have with as many different guys without a great core group. I know crew chiefs will move around. That is the nature of this business. I want to continue to develop talent inside John Force Racing and continue to keep winning,” added Force.