Seattle: Robert Hight preview

HIGHT LOOKING FOR BEST FROM NORTHWEST SEATTLE, WA (July 15, 2008) --- Close is never good enough for Robert Hight. He has been close to two POWERade Funny Car world championships the past two seasons. He has reached the semi-finals...

HIGHT LOOKING FOR BEST FROM NORTHWEST

SEATTLE, WA (July 15, 2008) --- Close is never good enough for Robert Hight.

He has been close to two POWERade Funny Car world championships the past two seasons. He has reached the semi-finals a class leading six times this season. Points leader Tim Wilkerson also has six semi-final appearances to his credit but Hight trails him in the points standings by 215 points. That is not close but Hight is hoping to close on that lead when he pulls the Auto Club Ford Mustang into competition at the Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals this weekend at Pacific Raceway.

Last weekend in Denver Hight dropped a semi-final match-up with Wilkerson but not before his team continued to march up the point standings moving from fourth to second. As he left the Mile High Nationals Hight was looking forward to heading down the mountain.

"Denver (was) tough. It always is on everybody. I am looking forward to going back to sea level," said Hight. "(Crew chief) Jimmy (Prock) has figured some things out. We did some work to some of our ignition stuff. We are making big strides with our motor."

Denver was also the site of the first ever NHRA national event that was contested to 1,000 feet. The temporary move to truncate the racing distance is an effort to provide more shut-down area for the nitro drivers following the death of Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta. The NHRA is continuing to investigate the cause of Kalitta's accident. Hight felt that the racing action didn't suffer but he would have to be on his toes for Seattle.

"It wasn't bad at all. I think the fans saw a lot of good races. It is a little harder for the driver in all honesty because you have three quarters of a second less to find the finish line. The first part of the run you are real busy and things are going on. All of a sudden the finish line comes up on you real fast," said the only driver to have led the points each of the last four seasons "Seattle might be a little tougher because it doesn't go up hill past the finish line. It is all how it's marked and it is also how well you are doing when you get to that point. It you are busy and it is a handful it all depends."

The most surprising aspect of the move to 1,000 feet for Hight was seeing the scoreboards for the first time.

"It was kind of cool I could see the scoreboard before my guys would even tell me what I ran. I never used to notice the scoreboards. When I was driving to the quarter mile I was focused on the track so much that I never saw the scoreboards," said Hight. "I saw my win light light-up in the first and second round at Denver."

Hopefully Hight will see many more win lights on the final two thirds of the historic Western Swing. Hight has started from the No. 1 qualifying position the past two seasons at Pacific Raceway but it was his inaugural trip to the Northwest as a driver where he had his most success racing to the finals before losing to teammate Eric Medlen.

-credit: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Tim Wilkerson , Eric Medlen , Robert Hight