DENVER (July 21, 2011) --- Heading into the 2010 MOPAR Mile High NHRA Nationals Robert Hight had never won four races in one season. With a dominant tune-up and some great driving Hight left Denver last year with his fourth win of the season and momentum heading into to the Countdown. Little did the former John Force crewman know that the win in Denver on the side of the mountain would be his literal and figurative 2010 highlight.
“Getting that win last season at Denver was big. We had won three races in a row earlier in the season and to get my fourth win before the Countdown, we thought that was what we needed to get our momentum back. Too bad we stumbled in the Countdown. Luckily, John (Force) saved the season by winning the 2010 Full Throttle championship. It is kind of ironic that I beat him in the final of my last win of the season in Denver and then he gets the championship. He definitely earned it,” said Hight.
This year Hight already has his four wins and is looking for a new personal best, five wins in a season, at Bandimere Speedway this weekend. The outlook is good for Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang thanks to the tuning prowess of crew chief Jimmy Prock.
“Jimmy has had a lot of success in Denver. He has the performance records in both Funny Car and Top Fuel. With the win last year I feel confident that our tune up will have us in the thick of things during qualifying and eliminations. With five races to go before the Countdown it is all about qualifying bonus points and round wins. I am glad I have Jimmy in my trailer,” said Hight.
“Between me and Mike Neff we have won the last five races and Neff has been in six of the last seven finals. The guy that I am keeping my eye on is John Force though. He has really been working these past couple of races and he has had some success. You can only have one winner at each national event so JFR is doing great but we know at any moment John Force with that (Dean) Antonelli and (Ron) Douglas tuned Castrol Mustang can go on a streak.”
While Hight has achieved one of his major career goals, winning the Full Throttle Funny Car championship in 2009, he would like to add winner of Western Swing to his resume. Only one Funny Car driver has achieved that feat and he is Hight’s boss, mentor and legend: John Force.
“The competition has been so strong for so many years in Funny Car that on one hand I am surprised there has only been one Funny Car Western Swing winner. There have been some dominant Funny Cars when you look back at Force in the 90s, Tony Pedregon, (Gary) Sclezi, (Ron) Capps and Cruz (Pedregon). It is kind of surprising none of them were able to string these three wins together. That just goes to show you how hard it is. I am hoping to get a leg up on the Western Swing this weekend and then see how it goes in Sonoma and Seattle. I definitely like this order of races.”
Hight has one win in the valley this season, Bristol’s Thunder Valley, and he is looking to match that with a win on the mountain. In order for Hight to race into the winner’s circle he knows that he will have to be on his game every day.
“I was in Denver earlier this month for a media day and it was great to talk about the upcoming race. During the day I did two things that always get me focused. I got to drive a F150 Ford truck with the media and then we went to an area gun club and we shot trap. Those two things; racing and shooting help keep your mind sharp. That is why I love the Western Swing, three races in a row, keeps everyone on top of their game, me, the crew guys, and Jimmy.”