Las Vegas: Robert Hight preview

FUNNY CAR CHAMP HIGHT LOOKING TO LIGHT UP LAS VEGAS LAS VEGAS --- Robert Hight knows he has a bad hot rod. The 2009 Full Throttle Funny Car champion has qualified in the top four at the first five races of the 2010 Full Throttle season. He has...

FUNNY CAR CHAMP HIGHT LOOKING TO LIGHT UP LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS --- Robert Hight knows he has a bad hot rod. The 2009 Full Throttle Funny Car champion has qualified in the top four at the first five races of the 2010 Full Throttle season. He has two No. 1 qualifiers to his credit so far this season giving him thirty-four in his young career. Heading into the 11th annual Summitracing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Hight and crew chief Jimmy Prock would like to turn those strong qualifying numbers into their first winner's circle appearance of the season.

In fact Hight's only two first round exits this season have come when he held the top spot in qualifying. Ironically, Hight's teammate and 2010 Full Throttle points leader John Force held the top qualifying spot last weekend in Houston and fell in the first round to Tony Pedregon.

The good news for Hight is he is heading to a race track that has been kind to him recently. Last year during the Countdown to 1 Hight all but wrapped up his first Full Throttle Funny Car championship qualifying No. 3 and winning the race in dominant fashion.

Last year at the 10th annual Summitracing.com Nationals Hight raced to a semi-final finish before losing to eventual winner Ron Capps. That race day performance was the last positive experience for Hight for a very long time as his Auto Club Ford Mustang went on a performance hiatus that didn't end until just before the end of the NHRA regular season.

This season Hight has started strong on the performance front but unfortunately he has just run into some bad racer luck. In the first round of the NHRA Four Wide Nationals Hight was out in front of his quartet when his BOSS 500 motor dropped a handful of cylinders and pushed him across the centerline. In Gainesville and Houston he dropped second round races to eventual finalists Bob Tasca III and Jeff Arend respectively.

The loss in Houston was especially tough considering how tricky the track became almost overnight and how well his Auto Club Ford had been running.

"The motor did everything we wanted it to. (Houston) was the first really hot day we have had this season. The track temperature was over 115 degrees and that is incredibly hot. That makes just about any track tricky. Our motor hooked up and we had a great 60 ft. time but we just missed it a little. We are disappointed to not get the win. This AAA Mustang was in great position to get into the winner's circle. It just didn't happen for us (in Houston). We'll regroup, learn from this, and head to Las Vegas," said Robert Hight after the race.

The odds this weekend are in Hight's favor according to Fred Crespi, oddsmaker for The Palms Resort Casino in Las Vegas. While two-time 2010 winner John Force is the front-runner at 2 to 1 odds, Hight gets the nod at 7 to 2 right behind most recent Funny Car winner Matt Hagan at 3 to 1.

A strong qualifying performance and a big finish on race day could have Hight cashing in and that would put a welcomed smile on the 2009 Funny Car champs face.

-source: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , John Force , Jeff Arend , Robert Hight , Bob Tasca III