Dallas: Robert Hight preview

HIGHT WANTS FULL THROTTLE TEXAS MOTORPLEX EXPERIENCE DALLAS, TX (September 22, 2010) --- A year ago Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang team rode into the Texas Motorplex with a brand new Wally in their possession from a win in Charlotte...


DALLAS, TX (September 22, 2010) --- A year ago Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang team rode into the Texas Motorplex with a brand new Wally in their possession from a win in Charlotte and a building wave of momentum. They dominated the competition at the famed Dallas area track and went on win Hight's first Full Throttle Funny Car world championship, the 16th in 20 seasons for John Force Racing.

This year the team will attack the 25th annual O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals with the same degree of aggressiveness but not with the Wally hardware. In the first round of the O'Reilly NHRA Nationals in Charlotte Hight fell victim to a broken throttle cable in the first round and his race day ended for the second consecutive event in the first round. A dejected Hight knew that this misstep had dealt a severe blow to his championship hopes and he knew that the O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex held the key to his 2010 success.

"We had a throttle cable break in the first round. That was the worst thing that could happen to us. I had no chance once that happened. We will go to Dallas and try to get a win. We won at the Texas Motorplex last year and we have had some good luck there. (Sunday) was disappointing but my Auto Club team is ready to fight for this championship. With (crew chief) Jimmy Prock making the tuning calls with Eric Lane and my guys we will be OK," said Hight.

The team stayed over in Charlotte and tested on Monday laying down two sub 4.10 passes under the baking North Carolina sun. That kind of performance could come in handy at the Texas Motorplex where temperatures can soar under the hot Texas sun.

The good news for Hight is he has had success on the all-concrete race track that Funny Car super star Billy Meyer opened 25 years ago. Hight has been the No. 1 qualifier three of the last four Fall Nationals and he has picked up wins twice in the past four years.

"I love racing at the Texas Motorplex. We left Dallas last year with the points lead and that was pretty amazing. This year we have not started the Countdown the way we planned. We had two first round stumbles. Breaking that throttle cable in Charlotte really hurt. Fortunately for us we weren't hurt too bad in the points. It is going to be a battle for the championship and that is the way we want it," said Hight.

"We have been in the championship battle until the last day of the season the past couple of years so we are used to the pressure. My Auto Club team will be ready. We are excited to be representing AAA Texas this weekend and hopefully we can get them another win."

Throughout the Countdown Hight will be contributing his thoughts to a blog for RACER Magazine and RACER.com. His first installment touched on how the team is approaching the Countdown as well as how they look at making changes on the Auto Club Ford Mustang.

"The simple fact is, if things aren't the way you want them, they aren't going to get fixed by themselves. You have to make changes -- and then you have to be willing to live with the consequences of them. When you make a change to one aspect of the car, you can be certain it will affect something else," wrote Hight.

"As an example, you can make a change to the clutch, but then you'll need to change the fuel system because the engine is either being pulled on harder or less hard and, obviously, its optimum running is completely dependent on the fuel flow. If the engine is being pulled on harder, you'll need more: if you're not pulling on it -- in other words, you're more gliding away from the start (that's all relative, obviously!) -- then you're going to want to slow down the fuel flow."

"So, in those circumstances, where one change triggers a bunch more, it requires a crew chief like Jimmy, who can think his way all along the logical chain of effects. He'll consider everything. Another great thing about Jimmy is that he won't just keep flogging an idea that has no chance of working. He's going to fix that car no matter what. Even if we're not testing, if there's something he believes we can do better, he's going to try it. Oh, and that's another reason I like working with him: he's usually right!"

As the team prepares to race at the Texas Motorplex Hight knows that the kind of change they need is round wins on Sunday and he knows that the team he has behind him will go Full Throttle to get those wins.

-source: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Robert Hight