Robert Hight takes Auto Club of Southern California Chevy to No. 5 spot in qualifying

Robert Hight takes Auto Club of Southern California Chevy to No. 5 spot in qualifying

POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 11) – Robert Hight and his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car team saved their best for last during qualifying for the Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

And their best was good enough for the No. 5 qualifying spot in the season-opening race of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

“Great job by my team,” Hight said. “We had struggled the last two runs in testing (in Phoenix last weekend), and then the first three runs here, the same thing. But to see the teamwork – (John Force crew chief) Jimmy Prock coming over with (Hight crew chief) Mike Neff and going over things – that’s the kind of stuff you hope for. They all worked well together and tried to help each other.

“We made a lot of changes that last run, and it was very smooth – no sign of shake.”

Hight’s pass of 3.853 seconds at 327.43 mph moved him off the bump spot and well into the top half of the field. And it could have been even quicker.

“It was quick,” Hight said. “If we’d have run a little quicker in the middle, it could’ve been an .83 real easy.”

Hight, whose Chevy bears a California Highway Patrol paint scheme this weekend, did have a minor issue after going through the lights in Q4. A tire went flat and had to be replaced before he could return to the pit area.

“Maybe we were so embarrassing the first three runs to the Highway Patrol that they put one of those strips across the track because we had a flat tire,” Hight said jokingly.

Hight now faces Del Worsham in the first round of eliminations Sunday. Worsham qualified No. 12 with a best pass of 3.940 at 323.89 mph.

“Great job by everybody,” Hight said. “We’re at least on track now. It’s a new day tomorrow. I hope we can do it a few times in a row here and not go back to that shaking because that isn’t any fun.”

Hight and his team, including co-crew chiefs Jon Schaffer and Jason McCullough, will continue to work with teammates John Force and Courtney Force to get all three Funny Cars as fast as possible.

“We’ll be able to see what our teammates do,” Hight said “That’s why we have multiple cars, to help each other and work together. The goal is, tomorrow night at this time, to have a Chevy in the winner’s circle.”