Phoenix: Robert Hight preview

HIGHT LOOKING FOR FIRST FULL THROTTLE WIN AT FIREBIRD CHANDLER, AZ (February 17, 2009) --- The past two seasons Robert Hight and his Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang have come close to winning at Firebird International Raceway ...

HIGHT LOOKING FOR FIRST FULL THROTTLE WIN AT FIREBIRD

CHANDLER, AZ (February 17, 2009) --- The past two seasons Robert Hight and his Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang have come close to winning at Firebird International Raceway reaching the final round only to walk away without the coveted "Wally." In last year's final the former world-class trapshooter knew his Mustang was not operating at peak performance considering it had gone through a massive overall to add much needed safety improvements just weeks before the start of the season.

This season the Funny Car championship contender feels that his Auto Club Mustang is much more consistent especially coming off a strong performance at the 49th annual Kragen O'Reilly Winternationals where Hight qualified No.1 and lost a tight semi-final race to eventual winner Ron Capps. The biggest hurdle Hight and the rest of the Funny Car field had to overcome in Pomona was the prolonged waiting due to persistent rain in Southern California.

"It was good to get in a race groove (on Tuesday). We got to make a couple of runs. The car went down the track both runs. Jimmy (crew chief Jimmy Prock) made some changes and it is not shaking. I don't count the first round since everybody shook for else they were so weak they were slow. I still believe everything is going in the right direction. We'll go out and work real hard in Phoenix. If you would have had your stuff together this weekend you could have run a sub four second run out there with these conditions. We're just not there yet," said an optimistic Hight.

Racing in the desert can be tricky but Hight knows he has a battle tested team and one that is ready for another serious run at the Full Throttle Championship.

"We were lucky and we kept our whole team together. Jimmy has been working hard this off season and I know we have the car that can go rounds. I feel a lot better about coming into Phoenix this year. I made it to the semis in Pomona and I'm proud of all these guys. If you get to the semis all year long you are the world champion," said Hight.

Hight will be taking the fight to the rest of the Funny Car class with three other teammates and he knows that there is strength in numbers. He will be joined by team leader 14-time champion John Force, 2007 Rookie of the Year Ashley Force Hood and 2008 Rookie of the Year Mike Neff. All four JFR drivers qualified for the Countdown to 1 last year finishing in the Top Ten.

"The four-car team only works because of the people that John has assembled. If we were butting heads and didn't all get along and race and work together it wouldn't be a good deal. To his credit, John has put together four teams of good people that work well together. It is a big advantage to share data and one team can try something and if it is good we can share with each other and really it is a continuous learning curve. The key is the interaction and in our case it is four teams working as one," concluded a confident Hight.

-credit: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Ron Capps , John Force , Ashley Force , Robert Hight , Mike Neff