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Apr 10, 2014 - 06:29 AM
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2014 NHRA: Hight And Auto Club Team Focused On Four-Wide Success
Posted by: newsla on Apr 10, 2014 - 06:25 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Hight And Auto Club Team Focused On Four-Wide Success


Robert Hight made it four in a row when he won the 2012 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at Bruton Smith’s zMax Dragway. The Auto Club team capped an impressive streak that season winning four Funny Car national events in a row. This year he is looking at keeping another streak alive as he looks to reach his fourth final round in a row and pick up his second win of the season.

 

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Hight took over the points lead from teammate and reigning Funny Car champion John Force with his final round appearance two weeks ago at the Summitracing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas. Unfortunately the only driver standing between Hight and a possible four race win streak is Alexis DeJoria and the Patron XO Café Funny Car. Hight has faced her in two final rounds this season and has yet to hoist the winner’s trophy.

“Alexis has been tough this year. She has always been a strong competitor but we haven’t been able to get around her in the final round this season. We are happy to have the points lead and a spot in the Traxxas Shootout but we would like to have a three race win streak coming into zMax Dragway again like we did in 2012,” said Hight, who secured his 30th Funny Car win in Gainesville at the famed Gatornationals earlier this year.

The Auto Club team has shown a performance consistency that Hight and crew chief Mike Neff hope will carry them to the Mello Yello Funny Car championship this season. The pair matched up last year with wins at the U.S. Nationals and the NHRA Carolina Nationals. This year the dynamic driver and crew chief combo knows that the season is a marathon not a sprint but they would like to be the team setting the pace.

“You want to go as many rounds as possible throughout the season because that is what keeps your team sharp. We want to dominate and learn as much as we can every week. We want to unload and get set up to run low ET in that first qualifying session on Friday. That will really set the tone for the weekend,” said Hight.

The unique four-wide format only gives each team one shot at each lane in qualifying. Luckily the weather forecast for the Charlotte area calls for blue skies and good temperatures so teams should have info for all four lanes going into race day. After the two days of qualifying Hight’s goal is to be one of the two quickest Funny Cars in the first two quads of races on Sunday. In the final quad Hight wants to once again be the first to the finish line and pick up his second Four-Wide win as well as his second win of 2014.

“The staging procedure takes the most concentration at the Four-Wide Nationals. You have two extra Funny Cars you have to account for and you still need to follow your routine. You can’t catch yourself getting frustrated because someone else isn’t staging fast enough or someone stages too quickly because then you could be late on your light. I enjoy the challenge and I am looking forward to getting to zMax Dragway,” said Hight.

“Charlotte is a great place to race and now that we have been there for a number of years we are seeing new fans but also a lot of people are making this a Spring tradition. I am seeing more familiar faces at the ropes and that is what you want to see. Drag Racing is really getting some momentum in NASCAR country and we love it,” added Hight.


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