Hight wants to take testing momentum to Pomona
As soon as the 2011 Full Throttle Drag Racing season came to a close Robert Hight and his Auto Club Ford Mustang team raced to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to get a jump start on 2012. They took the lessons learned in Vegas into the shop for the winter and at the 2nd annual PRO Winter Warm-Ups in Palm Beach, Florida they recorded the quickest ET, (4.034 seconds) and fastest speed (316.67 mph) of any of the Funny Car teams in attendance.
Hight is planning on using that confidence and momentum as he begins his Winternationals title defense this weekend at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. The success in Florida of his Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car has Hight riding high into Pomona.
“It gives you a lot of confidence. It was good to finally get back in the race car after a long winter and everybody here at John Force Racing is super-motivated to get this championship back. We won half the races last year but it still wasn’t good enough to get the job done and win the championship,” said Hight, the three-time Winternationals winner. “What I’m really most pleased about is how consistent we were when it was race conditions and we were up against other drivers. My Ford Mustang went down the track every run and it was respectable and quick. When you say domination, we made some good runs, but it was only a few thousandths quicker than one of the other competitors out there. We can’t let our guard down and we have to continue working hard.”
“A lot of new things coming with the addition of people like John Medlen, Ron Armstrong, and Dickie Venables. This was all very important, to get these people here, especially because we have a fourth team. When we had a fourth team before, we had some of these guys, but John really believed and felt that it was important to tool up and get enough people on staff to make up for this fourth team, and it wouldn’t be a distraction. I believe that’s definitely the case. All four of our Ford Mustangs are ready to go.”
Hight won a category and career high five races in 2011 but was denied a second Full Throttle Funny Car championship finishing 4th in the points. If history is any indication then 2012 could be another championship season. In 2008 Hight finished 4th in the Full Throttle points standings and the following season he went on to win his first NHRA Funny Car world championship.
The attention to detail that Hight knows it take to win the championship will be the focus of the entire John Force Racing organization.
“Everything matters. What 10 years ago might have been alright, now you have to look at every single part on this race car and everything has to be pristine and perfect. One fortunate advantage I think we have is we’re able to make our own parts and control the quality of everything,” said Hight. “That’s mainly…we’re thankful for Ford for giving us that opportunity and those resources. Their engineers work with us all the time. They’re great to work with and I believe we probably get more support than the other manufacturers with Ford and that makes a difference.”
Hight loves being at the race track and he cannot wait to get onto the track. He will get the 2012 season started by supporting series sponsor Full Throttle with an appearance on Wednesday night from 6:00-7:00 p.m., at the G&M Oil located at 14454 Foothill Boulevard in nearby Fontana, Calif.
TELEVISION (all on ESPN2, all times Eastern Daylight):
Qualifying highlights – Saturday, Feb. 11, 11 pm -1 am.
Race highlights – Sunday, Feb. 12, 7-10:30 pm.