Denver: Robert Hight preview

HIGHT LOOKING TO CLIMB PERFORMANCE MOUNTAIN IN DENVER DENVER, CO (July 7, 2008) --- Robert "Top Gun" Hight is kicking off the Western Swing with some momentum coming off his third final round appearance of 2008 in Norwalk, Ohio and a feeling ...

HIGHT LOOKING TO CLIMB PERFORMANCE MOUNTAIN IN DENVER

DENVER, CO (July 7, 2008) --- Robert "Top Gun" Hight is kicking off the Western Swing with some momentum coming off his third final round appearance of 2008 in Norwalk, Ohio and a feeling a confidence in the motor that pushes his Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang to speed in excess of 310 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds.

"We ran the same motor in the semis and the final (at Norwalk). It is going to be our motor in Denver. That is a plus. Now it is putting cylinders out when it is spinning so it is not dropping cylinders for no reason. We aren't chasing our tail anymore," explained the Bandimere Speedway track record holder.

For the past few months Hight and his crew led by crew chief extraordinaire Jimmy Prock have been battling to make their 8,000 horsepower motor "happy" and keeping it under power to the finish line. Between rounds the crew has been thrashing while Prock and Hight huddle to figure out how they can squeeze more power from their Mustang. With the success in Norwalk Hight feels they will be able to quit thrashing and begin fine tuning.

"My crew guys aren't going to have to work so hard. We are starting to see some improvement and now we can tweak the motor here and there with nozzles and see a change. Before we were having to change everything in the fuel system. We are to the point now where we can fine tune," added the former JFR crewman.

Hight has never lost confidence in his team and he knows that as they embark on the Western Swing -- three races back-to-back-to-back in Denver, Seattle, and Sonoma -- he has a performance advantage. As the reigning track record holder and only driver to race into the 4.7s Hight feel that his team can get a hold of the Bandimere track and not let go.

"Jimmy has had the record in Denver for Top Fuel and Funny Car. We are the only car that has ever run in the 4.7s. We are going to go back to how we ran it in 2005 with what we have now for a blower and with any luck we can dominate there," said the quickest Funny Car driver to win 100 rounds. "We ran really good there last year. We were running really good and ended up smoking the tires in our own oil because an oil line was left loose."

The John Force Racing Ford Mustangs have been setting the performance standard for multi-car teams all season when you consider they have had a Mustang in ten of 12 finals this season including the Force vs. Force final in Atlanta. They have also had their four Mustangs in the Top Ten since the Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol and possibly most impressive; they have had three drivers (Ashley Force, John Force and Robert Hight) in the top five for the past seven races and eight races overall this season.

There will be a number of changes at Bandimere Speedway for the Auto Club team most notably a new racing surface and a new finish line.

Bandimere Speeway became just the second all concrete racing surface in the country joining the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas. zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina is currently pouring the third all concrete track in the country. The all-concrete racing surface will surely improve racing conditions at altitude and will give the fans what they want to see -- tremendous side by side racing action.

Last week the NHRA announced that beginning at the Mopar Mile High Nationals, both the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes will race to 1,000 feet instead of the traditional 1,320 feet or one-quarter mile. This is an interim step that is being taken while NHRA continues to analyze and determine whether changes should be made to build upon the sport's long standing safety record, given the inherent risks and ever-present dangers associated with the sport.

This interim change was made by NHRA in collaboration with professional race teams. NHRA believes that racing the Top Fuel and Funny Car classes to 1,000 feet will allow NHRA and the racing community time to evaluate, analyze and implement potential changes based on the safety initiatives outlined last week.

-credit: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Ashley Force , Robert Hight