Two-time Four-Wide Nationals winner Robert Hight looks to add a third to his resume

Two-time Four-Wide Nationals winner Robert Hight
looks to add a third to his resume

Photo credits: Ron Lewis Photography (above), Gary Nastase and Auto Imagery (below)

CONCORD, N.C. (April 25) – The Four-Wide Nationals, scheduled for this weekend at zMAX Dragway, is as much a mental contest as it is about race cars. And that’s tailor-made for Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car driver Robert Hight.

Hight is a two-time winner of the unique race, which pits four drivers against each other during eliminations instead of the normal two. That changes the way drivers stage their race cars, as they now have to worry about what three other drivers are doing instead of just one.

Hight is also regarded as one of the top drivers in the sport, as proven by his 2009 championship and 37 victories. His background as an Olympic-level trap shooter helped him prepare for the mental aspect of Four-Wide racing.

“I love it,” Hight said. “Yeah, it’s different, but you’ve got to be the one to adapt and get used to it better than everybody else. I’m excited about that and can’t wait to get there.”

Hight is coming to Charlotte on a roll, having qualified No. 4 and racing to the final round last week in Houston. He had the quickest car during eliminations – until the final round.

“It’s only three rounds of racing, too,” Hight said of the Four-Wide Nationals. “If we had three rounds of racing in Houston, we’d have won it. But if we can do what we did in Houston in Charlotte, I like our chances.”

Hight won the Four-Wide Nationals in 2012, beating John Force, Cruz Pedregon and Ron Capps in a monstrous final round. Hight won again in 2014, beating Force, Alexis DeJoria and Tim Wilkerson in the final round.

Those victories came with different crew chiefs: Jimmy Prock in 2014 and Mike Neff in 2012. Prock returned to Hight’s team after a John Force Racing crew swap before Gainesville, and Hight has gotten better and better.

“I’ve got confidence,” Hight said. “I’ve won it with Jimmy, I’ve won it with Neff. I’m ready to go. Can’t wait.”

Two rounds of qualifying are slated for Friday and Saturday, with final eliminations 12 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. Fox Sports 1 will provide qualifying coverage at 7 p.m. Friday, midnight Saturday, with elimination coverage Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

4-Second Reads:

Robert Hight has competed in all seven NHRA Four-Wide Nationals races at zMAX Dragway, since 2010.
Overall, Hight has competed in 16 NHRA Funny Car races at zMAX Dragway, having never missed a race day at the track.
Hight has advanced to the final round of the Four-Wide Nationals twice, winning both races (2012, 2014). In fact, he’s never lost a final round at the track. He’s also won the Fall race in 2009 and 2013.
Hight has a record of 9-5 in elimination rounds at the Four-Wide Nationals and 22-12 at zMAX Dragway.
Hight has qualified No. 1 for the Four-Wide Nationals twice – in 2010 and 2012. Those are his only two No. 1s at the track.
Force has a 5-2 record in the first round of the Four-Wide Nationals. Or to put it another way, he has advanced to the second round, or defeated at least two of three opponents, five times in seven first-round attempts.
Overall, Hight has a 10-6 record in the first round at zMAX Dragway.
In his career, Hight has 37 victories and 379 round wins. He has 49 No. 1 qualifying spots, tied for 13th all-time in NHRA’s professional categories.
Hight is currently fifth in Funny Car points standings, tied with teammate Courtney Force.
Hight’s best time/speed at Charlotte – 3.912 seconds (2016 2 Q2); 327.51 mph (2016 #2 E1)
Hight’s best time/speed in Four-Wide – 3.974 seconds (2016 Q2); 319.37 mph (2016 Q2)
Hight’s best time/speed of career – 3.828 seconds (2017 Gainesville E1); 334.82 mph (2017 Gainesville E1)
Hight has set one track time record this season (Gainesville Raceway) and two track speed records this season (Gainesville Raceway; Royal Purple Raceway)
Hight returns to the track this weekend with Auto Club of Southern California as the primary car sponsorship. Last weekend, the primary sponsor was AAA Texas.
Following body damage after Hight’s car hit the timing blocks in last weekend’s finals at Royal Purple Raceway against Ron Capps, the team’s spare body will be used and the primary body sent back to the JFR shop in Brownsburg, Ind., for repairs. Another body has been shipped from Brownsburg and will be used as a spare, if needed.