Indy ORP: Robert Hight preview

HIGHT WANTS TO START CHAMPIONSHIP RUN AT MAC TOOLS US NATIONALS INDIANAPOLIS, IN --- Automobile Club of Southern California driver Robert Hight understands the mystic surrounding an event like the 54th annual Mac Tools US Nationals better than...

HIGHT WANTS TO START CHAMPIONSHIP RUN AT MAC TOOLS US NATIONALS

INDIANAPOLIS, IN --- Automobile Club of Southern California driver Robert Hight understands the mystic surrounding an event like the 54th annual Mac Tools US Nationals better than most drivers. He has actually felt the power and emotion. In 2006 in only his second Mac Tools US Nationals Hight faced veteran Whit Bazemore in the final.

"When I was going to the final I remember taking my fire suit off and getting ready to go down and mix fuel to get everything ready for the final. I was getting all emotional. I was thinking 'I am in the final in Indy.' And I had to pull myself together and say 'Listen getting to the final is big but we still have a shot at winning it.' You have to continue doing what you did all day to get here," said the normally unflappable Hight. "I had to remind myself to not get all emotional and don't over think it. Just go out there and do your best."

"I remember doing the burn out, backing up and pushing the clutch pedal. It isn't that hard but my leg was just shaking I was so nervous. It was shaking really badly and I had to tell myself just stop. Do everything like you normally do. If you do all that you will give yourself the best shot at winning. I knew we had a car that could win. I just had to put it all together," said Hight. "I knew I couldn't just fall apart because 'wow' we made it here. That is hard to do."

"I was racing Whit Bazemore who is a great driver. I have a lot of respect for him. I left on him and we outran him. Had I been sleeping on the tree it was a close enough race that he could have gotten me. Leaving on time was important."

Last year Hight raced to his second consecutive Mac Tools US Nationals final round where he lost a close race to Jack Beckman. As a student of drag racing Hight understand why the Indy race is so important.

"Everybody is there that has been involved in drag racing and made it what it is today. It is just the big one. I think winning Indy would give you some momentum right as the Countdown starts. That is what we need to do."

With all four John Force Racing Mustangs clinched in the Countdown to 1 Hight still thinks winning Indy is important even when gathering testing information might be necessary.

"Indy is so huge everybody wants to win it. From here out we have no wiggle room. I think leading up to now if we got qualified good on Friday we tried to use at least one run on Saturday to do some testing," said Hight. "A lot of times it didn't work out because we weren't in good shape going into Saturday. That is what happened to us (in Reading). From here on out it is going to be all about going down the race track every single run because the more runs you make the better you are going to get."

"I'm looking forward to going to Indy that's for sure. I have been to the final the last two years and we can do it again."

-credit: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , John Force , Jack Beckman , Robert Hight