Englishtown: Robert Hight preview

HIGHT HOPING FOR HISTORY IN ENGLISHTOWN ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (June 19, 2008) --- Robert Hight is known as a racer's racer. In just over three seasons behind the wheel of the Auto Club Ford Mustang he has developed a reputation as a tough opponent, a...

HIGHT HOPING FOR HISTORY IN ENGLISHTOWN

ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (June 19, 2008) --- Robert Hight is known as a racer's racer. In just over three seasons behind the wheel of the Auto Club Ford Mustang he has developed a reputation as a tough opponent, a straight shooter and a class act.

He narrowly missed winning his first POWERade Funny Car Championship the past two seasons finishing second to father-in-law and team owner John Force in 2006 and finishing less than a round (19 points) behind Tony Pedregon last season. This year the former John Force Racing crewman has his eye on finishing on top of the Funny Car heap.

"What we learned last year was that every point is important," Hight said. "We had our chances but we didn't do what we needed to do (to win the championship) and that's the thing that has given us motivation for the new season."

Hight opened the season with a win in Pomona and a runner-up finish in Phoenix but since then the former world class trap shooter has by his own admission missed the mark too many times. He is the only Funny Car driver to have led the point standings each of the last four seasons and he it looking to get back to that No. 1 position with some success in Englishtown.

"We have been having motor problems most of the season but first round in Chicago the clutch bit us. That hasn't happened in a long time but we definitely found the reason why," said Hight. "We found some things wrong with my Auto Club Ford Mustang this past week in Indy. It is going to take us a few runs no matter where we are going to get the motor worked out."

Heading into Englishtown and Old Bridge Township Raceway Park as a driver has Hight pumped up because he has so many fond memories of racing at the storied East Coast track as a crew member.

"It is so rich in history as far as drag racing. There have been lots and lots of drag races in New Jersey. We used to go there on Wednesday nights and do match races with John's Funny Car and they would pack that place on a Wednesday night. I miss doing all that. The fans they just love drag racing. It is fun for me to be able to be driving there and Englishtown is a race you want to add to your list of wins."

Hight is the owner of the two quickest Funny Car runs in history and he knows that fans love to see the Nitro fuelers fly down the track. He understands that he is not only an athlete but also an entertainer. He also remembers how John Force Racing built itself into a dynasty by match racing at places like Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

"They (John Force and Austin Coil) went every week and raced. Coil got that car down the track. He backed it off enough to get it down some of those tracks and John drove it. John would pedal it and do whatever it takes to get it to the other end to put on a show for the fans. They came to see him. It was not about winning or losing or beating the other guy in the next lane as much as it is putting on a show for the fans. That is what John and Austin did for so many years. When they were doing those types of races was also when they were dominating on the NHRA tour."

Domination is something that Hight talks about often. He feels that he and crew chief Jimmy Prock are just a few adjustments from setting up his Ford Mustang as the car to beat for the Funny Car Championship.

"It sounds like a broken record but we are right around the corner from being awesome. If we can get the motor happy there is no doubt that we can go a lot of rounds. We have had the new chassis all season and now we are going to get new tires. There are a lot of teams that are getting both at the same time. I think we have an advantage because we have data on our chassis already. The key is getting the motor happy," said Hight.

With a happy motor in his Auto Club Ford Mustang Robert Hight could put a lot of frowns on the faces of his fellow Funny Car competitors.

-credit: jfr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , John Force , Robert Hight , Austin Coil