Joliet: Robert Hight preview

HIGHT ISN'T LETTING LACK OF SUCCESS GET HIM DOWN CHICAGO (June 3, 2009) --- The second half of the NHRA Full Throttle regular season starts this weekend at the 12th annual United Association NHRA Rt. 66 Nationals in Joliet. Early season ...

HIGHT ISN'T LETTING LACK OF SUCCESS GET HIM DOWN

CHICAGO (June 3, 2009) --- The second half of the NHRA Full Throttle regular season starts this weekend at the 12th annual United Association NHRA Rt. 66 Nationals in Joliet. Early season championship favorite Robert Hight is looking to forget about the first half of the season and concentrate on the second half.

Never before has Hight started a season with less success than 2009 but instead of getting down, the 2005 NHRA Rookie of the Year and two-time championship runner-up is focusing on battling through the tough times so success will taste that much sweeter.

"We are a team that is used to winning. We aren't doing that now obviously. We have sponsors like Auto Club, Ford, Castrol, Mac Tools, and Brand Source that pay us to go rounds and we didn't get the job done in the first half of the season. Trust me I want to win. (Crew chief) Jimmy Prock wants to win. We are going to really focus on the second half of the NHRA season before the Countdown. I think if we can average semi-final finishes the rest of the way we can get into the Top 5 in points," said Hight.

"Based on our performance so far that may sound like we are looking for a miracle but we are making progress. Our team is working together and it is not just my Auto Club team it is the whole John Force Racing organization. John has won 14 championships and I was on a lot of those teams. We know what it takes to win and we are going to start getting the job done," added Hight.

This season started out with a promising start for Hight racing to the No.1 qualifying spot at Pomona before dropping a semi-final race to Ron Capps. Hight made it back to the semi-finals in Las Vegas before again being stopped by points leader Ron Capps. On both occasions Hight felt like he had a legitimate shot at getting into the winner's circle. It is not a stretch to say that had Hight captured one or two of those wins the current championship chase picture would look dramatically different for the eleven time NHRA event winner.

With only five round wins in 2009 Hight is well off his usual pace in the quest to win his first championship. Turning his program around is not an impossibility. Heading into Chicago in 2008 Hight had already won twelve rounds of racing, been to two finals and was in 5th place in Full Throttle points with 506 points. After Chicago last season Hight reached three finals picking up two wins and entered the Countdown in 3rd place.

For the back half of the 2009 Full Throttle season Hight will be heading to seven tracks (Chicago, Norwalk, Denver, Seattle, Sonoma, Reading and Indianapolis) where he has reached at least one final round - nine total - in his career and where he has qualified No. 1 nine times. Finding his winning form at familiar tracks where he has had past success will not be easy for Hight but he knows he is up for the challenge.

"The last half of the season we'll be racing at tracks where I have won a lot of rounds. I have confidence and I have confidence in my team. We aren't going to run and hide. We will race every round like it is the most important round of the season because that is how we have always raced. Even in qualifying I always look at any time you can get a lap down the track I can learn something and my team can get better. That part of my program hasn't changed," concluded Hight.

-credit: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Robert Hight