Topeka: Robert Hight preview

HOT HIGHT READY TO BRING MORE HEAT TO TOPEKA TOPEKA, KS (May 19, 2010) --- Robert Hight, 2009 Full Throttle Funny Car champion and owner of a two race win streak, is not afraid of a predicted hot weekend at Heartland Park Topeka. With ...


TOPEKA, KS (May 19, 2010) --- Robert Hight, 2009 Full Throttle Funny Car champion and owner of a two race win streak, is not afraid of a predicted hot weekend at Heartland Park Topeka. With temperatures soaring in St. Louis and Atlanta at back to back race wins Hight's Jimmy Prock tuned Auto Club Ford Mustang has performed so consistently some have suggested shoe polishing a dial-in on its side.

"Jimmy Prock has been spending a lot of sleepless nights worrying about this engine. We weren't really able to work on our combination for getting down the track. It all started Sunday morning of St. Louis and this thing has been on a string ever since. We worked on some piston rings and some different things," said Hight.

On Sunday at Atlanta Dragway Hight's Auto Club Mustang recorded ETs of 4.182, 4.182, 4.197 and 4.185 seconds. In St. Louis Hight opened with a sluggish 4.235, then Prock and the Auto Club crew ratcheted the performance up 4.165, 4.159 and culminating with a blistering 4.149 second run in the final. Hight has recorded seven consecutive quickest-of-session runs in eliminations with an average ET over that span of 4.174 seconds.

Hight has recently talked about striving for season long domination to earn his second Full Throttle Funny Car championship. Last season Hight did not win a race until the Countdown to 1 where he collected three wins over the final six races to secure the title. He does not want to repeat that drama this season.

"I'm glad we got some wins earlier this year than we did last year. I've said all along this year, that the next championship I get I want it to be when I have been in the ballgame all year long. Not just squeak into the Countdown and use the Countdown to our advantage like we did last year, although, that wouldn't be a bad way to do it. I just think it's going to be hard to ever do that again. I want to be like John [Force] and win some championships where you're dominant and you're near the top all year long and you're a hitter at every race. It's going to be fun the rest of the year and we're going to all be near the top," said Hight, a 16-time national event winner.

"After winning the championship, you have such high hopes of winning another one. You get greedy. It's like you first just want to qualify, then you want to win a round, well now you want to win a couple rounds, then you want to win a race and then you want to win a championship. Well, now you want to win more. The next goal is to win another championship, and defend our championship. Winning a race now is probably more special, and in all honesty, the way our car ran at the beginning of the year it was hard to feel like a champion."

In the Atlanta press room Hight was quick to credit the NHRA track prep crew and the NHRA Safety Safari. With temperatures and humidity soaring they kept the program moving and gave the race teams a solid race track to race down.

"With the heat like this it was still a great race track. The NHRA and the Safety Safari did an unbelievable job. Sometime I dread coming to these hot race tracks but I hope we get some more heat because right now Jimmy Prock definitely has a handle on this thing," said the Atlanta No. 2 qualifier.

"When it is hot it is even more important to keep the car in the groove. The groove is where the main traction is. It is of ultimate importance to keep it there. You let it get inside or outside the tire gets hot and starts slipping then it is over. You have to focus on driving this car. NHRA did such a good job with this track it made it a little easier for the drivers."

Hight is looking forward to getting back to Topeka with his Auto Club Ford Mustang. Hight is very much like his boss, mentor and father-in-law John Force.

"I love to be at the race track. Next to being with my family that is where I feel the best. I love working with my guys. You could tell in Atlanta they were pumped up. When you are winning like this (a crew guy's) adrenaline is going just like a driver. My crew guys they get into this and they get faster as the day goes. They want to just keeping turning on that win light and making this Ford as fast as they can," said Hight.

"I have had some early qualifying success at Heartland Park Topeka. I was the no. 1 qualifier my first three years racing there (2005-07). I had that big fire in 2007 and since then I've run into some bad luck. Last year we were in the middle to struggling. I can't wait to get to the track and try and to keep this win streak going," said Hight.

Hight has reached the semifinals three times (2005-07) at Heartland Park Topeka but has not advanced beyond that round. His best chance might have come in 2007 but a massive fire in the second round win over Scott Kalitta ended his day. Following that run a heroic thrash by his Auto Club crew in addition to every free hand in the pits at John Force Racing the team essentially rebuilt his Auto Club Ford Mustang from the chassis up in 60 minutes. Hight fired up the Mustang but did not attempt a run against Jim Head.

-source: jfr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , John Force , Robert Hight