This Week in Ford Racing Robert Hight, driver of the Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang, is just seven points behind the leader in the NHRA Funny Car standings heading into this weekend's race at Dallas after the first race in ...
This Week in Ford Racing
Robert Hight, driver of the Auto Club of Southern California Ford Mustang, is just seven points behind the leader in the NHRA Funny Car standings heading into this weekend's race at Dallas after the first race in the Countdown to 1. Hight reached the semi-finals in the inaugural event at the zMax Dragway at Concord (N.C.), last weekend.
WHAT WERE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THE NEW RACE TRACK? WAS IT WHAT YOU EXPECTED? "No. Even though I had heard how awesome it is and John [Force] calling and saying this place is the greatest stadium for drag racing that he's ever seen, until you see it - I mean, it's unbelievable."
HOW DID THE FANS REACT? WERE THERE A NUMBER OF NASCAR FANS? " I would say that most of the fans there were NASCAR fans. I had never been to a race where I had so many fans come up and say that they had never been to an NHRA event before, but they love it and they're coming back. That's exciting for our sport."
DID YOU GET A SENSE THAT THE FANS PICKED UP ON THE FAN FRIENDLINESS OF NHRA? "For sure. They loved it. And, they weren't used to how easy we were to get to. Sometimes, they didn't want to bother us. But, it was a lot of fun. It wouldn't hurt my feelings if we had two races a year there."
YOU HAD A GOOD WEEKEND. EVEN THOUGH YOU DIDN'T WIN, YOU HAD SOME GREAT RUNS AND TOOK 33 POINTS OFF YOUR DEFICIT IN THE STANDINGS. "I had a car that could've won the race, real easy. I had an opponent that got away guessing at the tree - I had a good light and I had low ET of eliminations with that run, but lost. So, it was just one of those runs. I don't feel bad. There's nothing I could've done any better, any different. But, at the same time, I have a lot confidence going to the next one, knowing how well we ran. My crew chief, Jimmy Prock, he's always been one to be real aggressive, and it was like he changed his approach a little bit this weekend, and just went up and down the track, ran what we needed to run to win, and he said, 'If we're up against an opponent later in the day that we think we need to run better,' he says, 'I know there's room to tune it up and run quicker.' And that's exactly what we did. Just came up a little short with the guy beating me on the hole-shot. He had a .002 light. Tough to beat that, actually."
GOING INTO DALLAS, BECAUSE YOU'VE TIGHTENED UP THE STANDINGS, IS THERE NOW LESS PRESSURE TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN? "Yes. We're not going to try something that we haven't done. We're going to just race smart. We didn't qualify at Dallas last year, and that hurt us in the end, for winning the championship, so going into Dallas, it's the very first run, right out of the box, is so important to go down the track good and set yourself up for the night run. So, that's what we're going to do, and we're not going to give it away, and we're going to race like we did in Charlotte, and I think we're going to stay right there at the top, because we won it in '06, Dallas, and I think we have a good approach and a good combination right now."
-credit: ford racing