Hight - Ford interview 2009-04-16

This Week in Ford Racing Robert Hight driver of John Force Racing's Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car enters the sixth round of the 2009 Full Throttle Funny Car Series eight in the points a mere 29 points out of second in the championship. Hight...

This Week in Ford Racing

Robert Hight driver of John Force Racing's Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car enters the sixth round of the 2009 Full Throttle Funny Car Series eight in the points a mere 29 points out of second in the championship. Hight a three-time winner in 2008, has twice made the semi-final round in 2009, but has failed to advance to the finals this season. Hight shared his thoughts on the season with Ford Racing heading into the Southern Nationals this weekend at the Atlanta Dragway.

YOU ARE FIVE RACES INTO THE SEASON. YOUR THOUGHTS HEADED INTO ATLANTA. "I think there's definitely a lot of room for improvement with my car. I think Ashley [Force Hood] has the car out there right now to beat. Week in and week out she's got the best car. Mine has been on and off, but we definitely found a lot of things out after the Las Vegas race. We tested and used up one of our free test days. I'm actually looking forward to going to Atlanta because it's been kind of a mystery of what's been wrong with this thing. We came back to the shop after testing and dynoed a bunch of our clutch disks and found some problems so I think we're on the right track. I'm going to a race track in Atlanta where I've had lots of success. Last year I didn't do well, but the previous three years I was in the finals and won one, so our team has had a lot success there with John, myself and with Ashley winning her first race there last year. We always like going back to Atlanta."

THE NHRA PUT SIGNIFICANT TESTING LIMITATIONS IN PLACE FOR ECONOMIC REASONS. COMPETITIVELY HOW MUCH HAS THAT HURT HOW YOU PREPARE FOR A RACE? "I think the testing limits hurts a team like ours a lot. It hits us harder than it does a lot of the other teams because we've been fortunate and had the budget to test and that's one of the reasons John dominated all those years. If you look back at when John was dominating and winning all the races, we didn't test as much, but we were match racing every week. It keeps the crew sharp. The crew chiefs can learn how to get it down any race track and it definitely helps the driver being in the car every week and having to get the car down marginal race tracks. It's just more seat time, more runs down the track and it's better for everybody."

EVEN WITH THE PROBLEMS YOU TALKED ABOUT AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR, YOU'RE ONLY 29 POINTS OUT OF SECOND. YOU'RE IN THE COUNTDOWN IF IT WERE TO START TODAY. HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR POSITION WITHIN THE COUNTDOWN? "I feel it's definitely important, but having finished as the runner-up in the championship for three years during my career I want to be at the top. One year I lost the Championship by less than one round, so I think it's definitely important to be at the top of the points. I think you end up having a 40-point lead if you're at the top when the Countdown starts, that's two rounds. So then, instead of having to chase and run down the guy at the top you're the one being chased. So to me I want to be number one when the Countdown starts."

IT'S BEEN A COUPLE OF WEEKS SINCE YOU GUYS WERE IN VEGAS. DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO REST AND RELAX? "Las Vegas is close to southern California where I live. I spent all of Easter weekend with my family and my daughter is four and a half and it's a really fun age, watching her with the whole Easter experience. We had a great weekend, but I'm ready to go racing."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Robert Hight