Topeka: Robert Hight preview

AUTO CLUB'S ROBERT HIGHT WANTS TO HEAT UP IN TOPEKA TOPEKA (May 25, 2009) --- Robert Hight has had limited success at Heartland Park Topeka in his past four appearances. He has three No.1 qualifiers and three times he has raced to the...

AUTO CLUB'S ROBERT HIGHT WANTS TO HEAT UP IN TOPEKA

TOPEKA (May 25, 2009) --- Robert Hight has had limited success at Heartland Park Topeka in his past four appearances. He has three No.1 qualifiers and three times he has raced to the semi-finals. Last year the 2005 Rookie of the Year stumbled qualifying 7th and losing in the first round to Gary Scelzi.

2009 has been a frustrating year for Hight, the only Funny Car driver to have led the points each of the past four seasons. He is currently 12th in the Full Throttle point standings the lowest level of his career. In the past six races Hight has a semi-final (Las Vegas1) appearance, four first round losses and a DNQ at Bristol Dragway.

At the Las Vegas event Hight was masterful on Saturday during qualifying laying down some of the quickest elapsed times of the day. Since that day Hight's team has struggled to grab the same clutch magic that made him one of the most formidable drivers in the recent Funny Car memory.

In Hight's short career he has 29 No. 1 qualifiers to his credit which places him 6th all time (tied with Whit Bazemore) in the category and only five No. 1s behind Tony Pedregon for 5th place. Hight is also in the Top 15 for final round appearances and wins. All these statistics mean almost nothing to the former world class trap-shooter who bases his success on how he performed in the previous round.

Following his rare DNQ at Bristol Dragway Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang team spent the next day testing and figuring out how to find success that will catapult him not only back into the Top 10 but into title contention.

"We had some things go wrong. We also didn't do a good job. This wasn't a real indication of how good this team is. We have been in the fight for the championship every year. Auto Club, Ford, Mac Tools, BrandSource they don't pay us to perform like this. We have to get our act together. We will. I have a great team behind me. I wouldn't trade them for anyone. We are going to get through this. We will be in contention for this championship later on I promise," said Hight.

Following his day of testing Hight was optimistic and ready to get to Topeka.

"(Crew chief) Jimmy Prock figured a few things out and we were making progress with every run in Bristol (during testing). It is all about getting track time. That is one thing that has hurt us this season; the weather and our inability to capitalize on some of the successes we have had this season. We have a championship caliber team and we will show people what we are made of the next couple of races."

-credit: jfr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Whit Bazemore , Gary Scelzi , Robert Hight