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Jul 03, 2014 - 06:16 AM
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2014 NHRA: Hight Looking For Firework Finish In Norwalk
Posted by: newsla on Jul 03, 2014 - 06:15 AM
2014 NHRA: Hight Looking For Firework Finish In Norwalk

Robert Hight and the Auto Club team started off the season hotter than a firecracker but in recent weeks they have not been standing on the winner’s circle stage as flares fly overhead. The Auto Club team raced to six consecutive finals and picked up four wins to build up a massive points lead in the competitive Funny Car category. They still enjoy an almost 300 point lead over second place heading into the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals this weekend in Norwalk.


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"We want to get back into the winner’s circle. You can’t take anything for granted in this Funny Car class. We have won four races already and been in half of the finals so far this season but that just means we haven’t won eight of the twelve races. We feel like we have a Funny Car that can win every week. The competition is tough and they are trying to get quicker and faster just like us. I am excited to be going to the Bader’s race track. They are great promoters and we want to put on a good race there," said Hight, a 33 time Funny Car national event winner.

Hight has had tremendous qualifying success at Summit Motorsports Park the previous seven seasons qualifying either No. 1 or No. 2 five times. He raced to the final round in the second year of the event losing to Tony Pedregon in a close race. His crew chief Mike Neff has scored two wins as a driver at the event, 2011 and 2012, and has also been No. 1 as a crew chief twice once when he was driving and tuning (2009) and again last year as John Force’s crew chief.

"I think I do have an advantage with Mike Neff as my crew chief. He was won here a couple of times and he has been a No. 1 qualifier as a crew chief. The great thing about Neff is he keeps the whole team focused and calm. We work really well together. If you look at our collective qualifying performance we have been No. 1 here five times and had a car in the final four times. That is a pretty good record and I want to get into the winner’s circle myself this year," said Hight.

In the past eight races Hight’s Auto Club Funny Car has qualified No. 4 or better every race. In the stretch Hight has also picked up three of his four wins and a semi-final finish with only one first round loss. Neff has tuned the Auto Club Mustang to run consistently in the low 4.0s and in Epping they made the first three second run in the track’s history, 3.988 seconds.

"We are trying some things to get ready for the Countdown. We are not in test mode but we have been lucky to race in some cooler temperatures like those we will see in the Countdown so we have taken advantage of that and worked on a tune-up that will hopefully get us another championship. We are also focusing on racing smart in the heat. We have a great handle on this Mustang to it reacts to the changes Mike makes," added a confident Hight.

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