Robert Hight - Ford interview 2008-07-29

This Week in Ford Racing Robert Hight, driver of the Automobile Club of Southern California Ford Mustang Funny Car, earned his second victory of the season this past weekend at Sonoma. Hight remains in second place in the NHRA ...

This Week in Ford Racing

Robert Hight, driver of the Automobile Club of Southern California Ford Mustang Funny Car, earned his second victory of the season this past weekend at Sonoma. Hight remains in second place in the NHRA POWERade standings.

Robert Hight - Automobile Club of Southern California Ford Mustang

THE WIN ON SUNDAY WAS YOUR FIRST SINCE THE SEASON-OPENER AT POMONA BACK IN FEBRUARY. WERE YOU STARTING TO WONDER WHETHER THAT SECOND VICTORY WOULD EVER HAPPEN? "Exactly. It was too long between wins, that's for sure. But, we've been fighting a lot of things this year, but yet you see guys wins races and don't go down the track all four runs on Sunday. Yet, we did go down the track all four runs at Norwalk, and didn't win. So, when it's your day, it's your day. There is some luck. And we actually had some luck second round racing Cruz Pedregon. My car dropped a cylinder at the hit of the throttle and just chugged down there, it was very slow, but luckily, Cruz smoked the tires. I guess that was our one lucky one that we needed."

DESPITE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN WINS, YOU'RE STILL SECOND IN POINTS. "There are a lot of things - a round here or a round there - if you look at, we could have four wins real easy right, but I think that just shows how tough this class is and how tough it is to win in NHRA Funny Car division."

WITH THE COUNTDOWN GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER, ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT POINTS? "For sure. But, honestly, I don't think anybody is going to catch Tim Wilkerson before the Countdown and they restructure the points. But it sure would be nice to be No. 1. I guess anything can happen; there are three races left. We've had some opportunities to do it, but luckily this weekend we did get, but we did still only gain two rounds on him because he went to the semifinal. He's got a pretty good lead put there."

TIM WILKERSON'S LEAD NOTWITHSTANDING, ARE YOU PLEASED WITH WHERE YOUR TEAM IS AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON? "Yes, I am because the car is running good right now. We're not having to search for a combination that'll run good; it does run good. It goes up and down the track real well, as good as anybody. So, we'll just have to refine what we have and get just a hair better, and not be changing anything once they do change those points, because testing is over then. We need to have everything in place, basically, going into Indy, because we want to win that one, that's our big race. And, at the end of Indy is when they re-set the points, so we just need to know it's refined and perfect going into Indy."

YOU'VE NOW COMPETED IN THREE EVENTS AT 1,000 FEET. HAS THE STRATEGY CHANGED AT ALL - EVEN SUBTLY? OR IS IT BASICALLY THE SAME THING? "Same thing. We don't change a thing. Basically, the struggle always is available traction, and it doesn't matter if you're going 20 feet or 1,000 feet or a quarter mile, it's what traction is available in that distance, and everywhere during the run making the best and the most of the available traction with the power and the clutch and the combination to get it to the track to be the quickest at all points in the race track. So, it makes no difference. I do believe that reaction time is a bigger deal at 1,000 feet because if you have a car that has a lot of power and runs good, maybe that last 320 feet could run somebody down if they left on you. So, a little shorter track makes the starting line a lot more important."

HAVE YOU NOTICED AN IMPROVEMENT IN YOUR REACTION TIME IN THE LAST THREE WEEKS? "No, about the same. But, what I'm saying is I think we need to work on that. It's not just the driver's reaction, it's the car reaction, too, how it reacts. And, yes, I need to work on my game as well, but yet we need to keep working on things to make the car really fast-reacting."

ON GIVING THE TROPHY TO RETIRING DIRECTOR OF FORD RACING TECHNOLOGY DAN DAVIS. "Dan Davis was at this race and I gave him the trophy. It was his last race with Ford, and I presented him the trophy and I also look forward to working with Brian Wolfe."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon , Tim Wilkerson , Robert Hight