Hight - Ford interview 2008-09-03

This Week in Ford Racing Robert Hight, driver of Automobile Club of Southern California Ford Mustang Funny Car, won the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals for the second time in three years last weekend, and heads into the NHRA POWERade Countdown to 1 in...

This Week in Ford Racing

Robert Hight, driver of Automobile Club of Southern California Ford Mustang Funny Car, won the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals for the second time in three years last weekend, and heads into the NHRA POWERade Countdown to 1 in third place. Hight now has three victories this year.

THIS TRULY WAS A SPECIAL VICTORY FOR YOU, WASN'T IT? "Oh, it's huge. Honestly. Especially with John [Force] not qualifying, and we weren't running great in qualifying - we got down the first run and then proceeded to smoke the tires in the other four, so, you know, we weren't real stellar. But, they kept giving us enough chances. We didn't have the good lane but things just kept working out our way. I think when you're racing some of these other guys - or, actually, when they're racing us - they know that any time you can come out of your little state of confusion and fix it, and run quick. And they know they've got to make a good run to beat you, so they push on it, they just aren't conservative and go down the track, and I think that's kind of what happened. They - being Jack Beckman and Tim Wilkerson - smoked the tires and both made real good runs up to the point that they smoked the tires. So, they had to make a good run to beat us and sometimes they push a little bit and that allows us to make a mistake and still get the win."

IT SEEMED LIKE YOU FOUND A WAY TO WIN LAST WEEKEND. "And, that's big, because, you know what, usually the way I look at it, when we get beat, we beat ourselves - we do something stupid and make a mistake, like smoke the tires. Usually if we do what we know how to do, we can win. So, we've beaten ourselves enough and given enough away, we're going to take a little bit of luck along the way that we got, and we're not going to give this one back, that's for sure. Racing Wilkerson and Beckman, if they would've just gone down the track like they had been, they would've beaten us - either one of those two. We had cylinders out, and we just didn't make real good runs. The only really good run I would say we made was in the second round against our own teammate, and we were in that bad lane then, and we made a nice run in the bad lane. It also was a different race track in the semis and the final than it was in the second round. It was probably 15 degrees hotter on the race track, and that causes dropped cylinders, that causes different things. We didn't smoke the tires, because we dropped cylinders, and maybe the other two guys didn't drop cylinders and they maybe had too much clutch or whatever, and smoked the tires. So, it's a balance, but we did get to the finish line, and that's what you've got to do to win."

ON WINNING THE U.S. NATIONALS FOR THE SECOND TIME IN THREE YEARS. "It's big time. We won it two years ago, in '06, and I went to the final last year, in '07, and we had a blower drive break, and we were making a nice run there, so that's why I say there's lots of ways to lose, and we beat ourselves last year, whether it was just a freak deal or we weren't paying enough attention to the blower drive, but this year, it just went our way, I guess. To win Indy once is special and to win Indy a second time is just as special. I still can't believe I get to do what I do."

YOU JUST WON THE U.S. NATIONALS, AND YOU'VE ALREADY CLINCHED A SPOT IN THE COUNTDOWN. PLUS, THIS IS AN OFF-WEEK, SO YOU CAN ENJOY ALL OF THIS JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER. "Yeah, we're enjoying it, but yet we know we have a lot of work to do to begin the Countdown. We have three races in a row to start it off, right off the bat. We go to Charlotte, then Dallas, then Memphis, so there really isn't a lot of time to completely enjoy it. We have a lot of work to do to get ready, and we know that we're going to have to work extra hard to be on top, and that's where we want to be. We're going to ride this momentum. I look at it like we're going to go into the Countdown with a little momentum, because we won the previous race and the biggest race of the year, so that's a big thing. And we need to keep that momentum going. Sometimes, actually, I like not having off-weekends. I like to be out there every weekend racing, and don't lose the momentum, just keep it going. But, this weekend we have an off-weekend and I'm going to enjoy it with my family."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tim Wilkerson , Jack Beckman , Robert Hight