Norwalk: Robert Hight preview

HIGHT LOOKING TO TURN SEASON AROUND AT NORWALK HALFWAY POINT NORWALK, OH (June 22, 2009) --- Robert Hight and his Auto Club Ford Mustang have had a lot of success at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. They have performed well in...

HIGHT LOOKING TO TURN SEASON AROUND AT NORWALK HALFWAY POINT

NORWALK, OH (June 22, 2009) --- Robert Hight and his Auto Club Ford Mustang have had a lot of success at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. They have performed well in qualifying -- starting from the No. 1 position the past two years - and last year they raced to their third final of 2008 dropping a close race to Tony Pedregon.

So far success has eluded one of the pre-season championship favorites in 2009. Entering the 3rd annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals Hight will be in the middle of his longest winless drought of his career -- last win 2008 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals - as well as his longest drought for No. 1 qualifiers as the streak hits ten entering Norwalk. His Auto Club Mustang team sits in 12th place in Full Throttle points, 80 points behind rookie Matt Hagan who holds down the coveted No. 10 spot.

Even with these rather dire statistics Hight still projects confidence in his team and where they are headed.

"We are still a championship caliber team. I have total confidence in (crew chief) Jimmy Prock and my team. There is no doubt we have struggled this year. The last two races (Chicago and Englishtown) we have started to turn the corner. We went back to an old clutch set-up that is similar to what Guido and Ron (Ashley Force Hood's crew chiefs) are running. They are doing alright with it and I think we can learn from each other as we go to more races," said the 2005 rookie of the year.

Hight is referring to the success teammate Ashley Force Hood and her Dean "Guido" Antonelli, Ron Douglas tuned Castrol GTX Ford Mustang are having in 2009. They have raced to five final rounds including the last three in a row. They are sitting in the No. 2 position in Full Throttle points and have four No. 1 qualifiers to their credit this season. Their performance sounds almost Hight-like.

"We had a lot of success early in my career and I am very excited for Ashley, Guido, Ron and their whole team. They have earned everything that they have won this season. We are going to give them a run for their money though. We are all working, everyone at John Force Racing, on making all four of our Mustangs championship contenders this season. We are excited to be heading to Norwalk. I don't know that there are any teams that know this track better than John Force. He has raced so many Night Under Fires here and we all learn from him," said Hight.

Following the Englishtown event Hight and the rest of the John Force Racing crew spent a day with long-time John Force Racing sponsor Castrol at their Wayne, New Jersey headquarters. On Father's Day, Hight along with daughter, Autumn and father-in-law John Force spent the afternoon fishing with Tom McKernan, president of the Auto Club of Southern California. This much sponsor interaction only fuels Hight's competitive fire to perform at the highest level on the track.

"Sponsors pay us to win rounds and races. We are very fortunate to have some of the best sponsors in all of motor sports when you talk about companies like Auto Club, Ford Racing, Castrol, Mac Tools, BrandSource, and Sanyo. We are focused on getting back into the winner's circle and getting into the Countdown to 1 for us and for them. I have said it a couple of times after the races and I still believe we can race our way into not just the Top Ten but the Top Five and contend for this championship," said Hight.

-credit: jfr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , John Force , Ashley Force , Robert Hight , Matt Hagan