NHRA: Funny Car points leader Hight hopes to stay consistent heading into countdown
Consistency is the name of the game for Funny Car driver Robert Hight as his team comes to Brainerd for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Aug. 16-18 at Brainerd International Raceway.
Hight finds himself at the top of the Funny Car standings and would like to keep it that way and leave Brainerd with a bit more momentum on his side.
“If you leave Brainerd with momentum that carries you into the most important part of the year,” he said.
Hight has five wins on the 2019 season, including the first race at Pomona and most recently at Sonoma. The key to his success this season in his eyes has been his consistency.
“That’s the name of this whole game,” Hight said. “We went down to the last race of the year last year with a shot at the championship and didn’t get it done. Instead of completely trying to reinvent ourselves over the winter, we paid attention to why we lost and it was a lack of consistency.”
Hight feels his crew is running more consistently now than it did at the beginning of the season. He feels they are making good runs and getting full runs to the finish line most times without failures.
“Making 12 to 14 runs in a row without smoking the tires, that’s consistency and that’ll win you the championship,” he said.
Growing up as a kid, Hight worked on cars and fell in love with drag racing because of how raw it is. He never thought he’d be able to drive, but when he saw the drag racing cars, it was something he knew he had to do.
Hight worked as a mechanic for many years until Funny Car legend John Force gave him the opportunity to drive in 2005.
“There’s nothing like drag racing in that it’s sheer, raw horsepower and you try to get the most of the engine and what you got,” Hight said. “It’s the ultimate hot rodding sport and to me there’s nothing like it.”
Now at 49-years-old, Hight looks at someone like Force, who still races in his seventies and has 150 wins to his name, as someone to catch. Hight feels he is in the prime of his career and doesn’t look to quit any time soon.
“My boss, John Force, is the winningest guy ever and he’s set the bar for everybody,” Hight said. “I love it and want to keep doing it.”
Hight loves coming to Brainerd and has won the event a few times in the past. His most memorable moment happened in 2017 at BIR when he ran the quickest Funny Car run in history, which is still a record today.
“Great racetrack,” he said. “Those fans love it and know how to have a good time.”
The year 2017 was special for Hight, who not only got the record for the quickest run in Funny Car history, but also got the Funny Car season championship. He has two championships to his name -- the other coming in 2009. Sitting atop the Funny Car standings with two races to go before the countdown, Hight looks to add a third championship in 2019 which would put him in rare air.
“I’m on a list of probably 10 or so people who have won multiple championships and you can count the number of people who have three titles on one hand,” he said. “So it kind of sets you apart from history if I am able to get a third championship this way which is what it’s all about.”
Robert Hight Info
Ride: Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS
Crew Chief: Jimmy Prock
Hometown: Alturas, CA
Last year at BIR: Quarterfinals in Funny Car division
Current staning: First