Auto Club driver Robert Hight knows he can win from the No. 14 qualifying spot

Auto Club driver Robert Hight knows he can win from the No. 14 qualifying spot
LAS VEGAS (April 1) – Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car driver Robert Hight has been here before – and won.

So a No. 14 qualifying position – his spot for the NHRA Nationals this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway – doesn’t faze him.

“Luckily, our two teammates went down the track, so we’ll have their data,” Hight said. “We’re racing from a tough spot tomorrow from the bottom half, but when we get our act together, and we get this car running right – which hopefully is first round – we can beat anybody.

“We’re all ready. We’re going to work hard tonight to make it quick, and be out in the morning and ready to win this race.”

Hight has won seven times in his terrific career from the bottom half of the field, including winning from the No. 14 spot once – the 2007 season-finale at Pomona, Calif.

Hight and his team have struggled getting a handle on the Vegas track this weekend, starting with a tough run in the first qualifying session.

“Everything still goes back to Q1,” Hight said. “Every weekend proves just how important Q1 is. The race track was definitely tricky on Friday, with the frequency of the cars going down very, very few.”

Hight wasn’t alone in his difficulties getting down the track during Friday’s two sessions, as only six cars recorded passes under the four-second mark.

“Today, it was totally the opposite,” Hight said. “We were jacked up a little bit, going a little too fast and the car couldn’t take it – spun the tires. Then tonight, we probably would have had it right on the money and dropped a cylinder right when I hit the gas. There’s a cause for that; we just hadn’t figured it out.”

Hight’s official qualifying pass was 4.495 seconds at 272.83 mph, recorded in the final session when he had to pedal his Camaro to make as quick a lap as possible.

Hight will face No. 3 qualifier Tim Wilkerson in the first round Sunday, as Wilkerson had a top lap of 3.876 seconds at 331.28 mph.

The fourth round of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, the NHRA Nationals, begins with elimination round matchups at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT Sunday.