Las Vegas II: Robert Hight, Jimmy Prock - Ford interview 2009-11-04

This Week in Ford Racing: Robert Hight and Jimmy Prock November 4, 2009 The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Countdown to 1 has reached that final one race, and Robert Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car, will carry a ...

This Week in Ford Racing: Robert Hight and Jimmy Prock
November 4, 2009

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Countdown to 1 has reached that final one race, and Robert Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car, will carry a 105-point lead in the standings into that event in Pomona, Calif., next weekend. Hight and crew chief Jimmy Prock are looking to lock up their first series championship.

ROBERT HIGHT - Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car -

DID YOU EVER THINK YOU WOULD BE IN THIS POSITION AFTER ALL YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH THIS SEASON? "You hate to make predictions, but back when we didn't qualify in Bristol, I predicted - I said the car is too good, the team is too good and we will still contend for the championship. We weren't even in the top 10, and yet you wonder when you're saying those predictions if they will come back and bite you. Anything can happen. We could not qualify at Pomona and that could be it, but with the way my car is running right now, I'm very confident, and I just know that we can go out there and qualify and seal this deal up."

WHAT HAS BEEN THE KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS DURING THIS COUNTDOWN? "Jimmy Prock has just done such a great job since the Countdown started, even in Indy. Three wins in the Countdown and we've only been to five races, so that is stout. It's all been on performance, we have not gotten lucky. I haven't had to pedal the race car at all. We have just out-muscled these guys and that's what Cruz Pedregon did last year. To have a 105-point lead going into Pomona, it gives you a lot of confidence, but it's still not over. I think the only person that has a chance is Ashley, and that team is the reason we are in this Countdown. They fixed us, we were just lost, kind of like John's car right now. It's amazing what a win can do and get you that confidence back. You can just see Jimmy Prock, he's not lost out there, he doesn't go to the car 100 times to change things. He leaves the pit area with a tune-up and he might make a little change in the staging lanes and then boom, it goes."

DID YOU THINK YOU WOULD MAKE IT TO THIS POINT? "I never honestly dreamed that I would be at this point. I didn't ever think that I would ever get to drive a race car. I was just content and happy driving down the road in John Force's truck and working on his race car, and I just owe it all to him for giving me this opportunity to come out here. When you're on a team like this, you're expected to win, so that puts a little added pressure on you, but you also know that you have good equipment, a good car, and that makes it easier to learn, and trust me I'm still learning."

JIMMY PROCK - Crew Chief, Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car

YOUR TEAM HAS MADE QUITE THE TURNAROUND THIS SEASON. "It is an awesome turnaround, but we felt like we had a good car near the end before the Countdown. We were getting the car to come around, and we just felt like we had to get in, and we thought that if we got in and won races, you could come from way back and we've managed to do that so far. We struggled a lot, but the thing about all of my guys, all of the guys that work on this car, they never gave up, they always thought we could turn it around and fortunately we've done that."

WHAT TURNED THIS TEAM AROUND? "It was slowly coming back, but we made a big change back before we went to Brainerd and we actually ended up DQ-ing there. We went to Indy and tested, and we changed some stuff, and we have an intake manifold that we built ourselves over at John Force Racing that Ashley and John were running, and that was really the biggest change we made. We copied Ashley's engine combination and that really helped turned things around, because the engine ran better, and it ran more consistently, and you were just able to focus on the clutch part and tuning the rest of it."

TWO YEARS AGO YOU LOST THE CHAMPIONSHIP DUE TO THE COUNTDOWN. DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE OWED THIS ONE? "I don't feel I'm owed one. Nobody is owed anything in this, you have to earn it, and you need to be just fortunate. Did I ever think that maybe we would never win a championship? Maybe not, but I didn't believe that. You just come here and give it your best shot. As long as we give it our best we have to live with those results."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Robert Hight