BRISTOL, TN (June 12, 2012) --- There are only a handful of current drivers who can say they won 250 rounds of Funny Car racing. They are multiple-time world champions, veterans and Hall of Fame contenders. With two round wins at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Robert Hight can join a group of current drivers with a minimum of 250 round wins that includes John Force (1,103), Tony Pedregon (502), Cruz Pedregon (451), Ron Capps (444) and Tim Wilkerson (261). Hight could achieve this feat in only 171 races (including Bristol) which is a pace of nearly 1.5 round wins per race. The only driver who has a better round win to race ratio is Force (1.85).
“Getting round wins is what this sport is all about. I remember when John got his 1,000th round win in St. Louis a few years ago. I don’t know if I’ll get that many but you look at the list of guys that have won 250 rounds and it is an impressive group. These are drivers you want to pattern your career after,” said Hight, the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car champion.
Before Hight can consider going round he has to get his Elvis 35th Anniversary/AAA Insurance Ford Mustang qualified for the 12th installment of the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-City Ford Dealers. This will be the first time Hight will be racing an Elvis themed Funny Car and the impact of representing Elvis Presley Enterprises is not lost on the crewman turned driver.
“Elvis has fans all over the world and to be associated with a person of that stature is amazing. Music has always been an important part of my life and when you think of rock ‘n’ roll, the first name that pops into your head is Elvis. I won at Bristol last year and it would be amazing to get my Auto Club/Elvis 35th Ford Mustang back into the winner’s circle this year,” said Hight.
Lionel NASCAR Collectables will offer 1:24 and 1:64 scale die-cast cars of both John Force’s Castrol GTX High Mileage/Elvis 35th Ford Mustang Funny Car and Robert Hight’s AAA Insurance/Elvis 35th Ford Mustang Funny Car. Each die-cast is currently available for pre-order at www.johnforceracestation.com and www.nhradiecast.com – home of the officially licensed die-cast of the NHRA.
As the defending event champion Hight is looking forward to getting his AAA Insurance Funny Car back on the fast racing surface of Thunder Valley Raceway. Last year Hight qualified No. 6 but on race day he took out Ron Capps, Mike Neff, Jeff Arend and Jack Beckman to get the win. All four of those drivers were tough last year but this year they are even tougher when you consider Capps is on a five final round appearance
streak, Neff, Arend and Beckman are all solidly in the Top Ten.
“It may sound like a broken record but this year’s Funny Car class has to be one of the toughest ever. There have been six different winners already this season. There are a handful of drivers that are right on the cusp of getting their first wins. Everyone wants to lock up the last open spot in the Traxxas Shootout that will guarantee a chance to race for $100,000. The eighth spot is open for a lottery so you don’t want to leave anything to chance,” said Hight.
“Bristol is such a special track. It was a place I really wanted to win so last year was really special. We set the national speed record which was my first national record. I came in early this year and talked to the media so I want to perform,” said Hight.
Last year Hight left Bristol with the national speed record of 316.45 mph. Hight ran that speed in the semi-finals and then backed it up with a 314.90 mph run in the finals. That speed record was Hight’s first national speed record and with two round wins on Sunday Hight can set another personal record that will further improve Hight’s racing resume.