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Apr 23, 2014 - 04:40 PM
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2014 NHRA: Hight Looking To Keep Auto Club Mustang Momentum Rolling
Posted by: newsla on Apr 23, 2014 - 04:32 PM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Hight Looking To Keep Auto Club Mustang Momentum Rolling


With a streak of four final round appearances in a row heading into the O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals this weekend at Royal Purple Raceway Park Robert Hight and his Auto Club team are not taking anything for granted. The current Mello Yello points leader and two-time winner this season is looking to the site of his first professional win as another chance to just go rounds.

 

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“This team is not looking at streaks or final round appearances. We want to get the most out of every run because we know Mello Yello championships aren’t won or lost at the beginning of the season. The regular season is very important and having a spot in the Traxxas Shootout locked-up and having the points lead are important goals for the Auto Club team,” said Hight.

“The most important thing for our team is to stay focused and work on getting the maximum benefit from every run. (Crew chief) Mike (Neff) needs the data so we can put a plan together for the Countdown and for the warmer weather races coming up. We are always working on these Funny Cars and you can’t sit still on a tune-up. I have so much confidence in this entire team and in the whole John Force Racing operation. We are definitely enjoying some success now but our goal is to win a championship for John Force Racing and for all our sponsors like the Auto Club, Ford, Castrol, Mac Tools, PEAK, BrandSource and Traxxas.”

Hight reached his fourth final round in a row at the Four-Wide Nationals taking the win over John Force (runner-up), Alexis DeJoria and Tim Wilkerson. It was a big win for Hight when you consider his Auto Club Mustang only had lane choice in the opening session on race day. The other two rounds Hight and his Auto Club Mustang were relegated to “table scraps” according to crew chief Mike Neff.

“I never felt pressure going into the second or final round of racing because Neff was so calm. He kept saying we were going to win with the table scraps as far as lane choice and we did. He has such a good feel for the race car and what the track will hold. I also have to thank Lanny Miglizzi our track specialist. The Four-Wide is tough on him and he gave us great information all weekend,” said Hight, who secured his 31st career Funny Car win in Charlotte.

Hight has won twice so far this season and has continued a streak of winning multiple races every year of his professional career. He has also become the winningest driver at zMAX Dragway with two wins in the Fall national event and two wins at the Four-Wide, the only Funny Car driver with multiple wins in the unique format. His first career win came at the Houston national event in 2005 in just his fourth professional start. Hight outran Cruz Pedregon for that first win and he never looked back when you consider no Funny Car driver has won more national events since that day than Hight.

“It is hard to believe I have won 31 Funny Car national events. I just wanted to work on a race car when I got hired by Bernie Fedderly in the 90s. I thought getting to work on the clutch on John Force’s Funny Car was a dream job. I thank John all the time for this opportunity and I try and represent all our sponsors to the best of my ability. I was doing a couple shows between Charlotte and Houston and it just got me more excited to get back to the track,” said Hight.

After the Charlotte race Hight flew to Alabama for the AAA Alabama Ford/AAA Auto Skills banquet. At the end of the week he was in Las Vegas celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang. The fan and sponsor events help remind Hight that while his success on the track is important so is the time with the fans away from his pit area.

“The bottom line is we are looking for sponsors but we still have to keep doing our job which is to win races and make sure the fans have a positive experience. When I get to Houston I will head out to the track and check in with my team. On Friday we will be ready to go to start working our way towards another win,” said Hight.


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