Auto Club Chevrolet driver Robert Hight heads to Atlanta in search of first victory of 2017

Auto Club Chevrolet driver Robert Hight heads
to Atlanta in search of first victory of 2017

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 2) – Robert Hight has shown quickness, speed and the ability to advance rounds during the last four races, but still seeks his first Funny Car victory of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

He’ll look to this weekend’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, site of the seventh stop on the season, and an event in which he’s proven successful in the past.

The driver of the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS has three victories at the Atlanta track, most recently in 2014 after beating teammate Courtney Force in the final round. He also won in 2007 and 2010.

“Love the track in Atlanta, love the fans, and it’s always nice to go to a place where you have had some success at,” said Hight, who all together has six finals appearances in 12 races at Atlanta. “We have had a lot of success there and looking at the long-range forecast it looks like it’s going to be nice and cool. So we are going to be able to thunder and make some good runs there.”

During this stretch of three race weekends in a row, Hight made his first finals appearance of the season in the SpringNationals in Houston, where he was quickest down the strip but his time disqualified for crossing the center line before the finish. He also advanced to the Four-Wide Nationals semifinals last weekend at Charlotte. He lost a cylinder immediately after the start and wasn’t able to advance to the finals, though he set the second-fastest speed of his career there during qualifying.

With a promising test conducted Monday at the Concord track, Hight believes the move to the Atlanta facility just a couple hundred miles southwest is the perfect opportunity to etch his name into the record books as a four-time winner, celebrate in winner’s circle, and get into the Traxxas Shootout, a special race-within-a-race during the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

“Hopefully that is the day where we can put four together in a row and get in the Traxxas Shootout and get that first win out of the way,” Hight said.

Two sessions of qualifying for the NHRA Southern Nationals are scheduled for 4:15 and 6:45 p.m. Eastern Friday (highlights show at 8 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1), with two more sessions at 1:15 and 3:45 p.m. Saturday (highlights show at 1 a.m. Eastern Sunday on FS1). Elimination rounds are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Sunday (highlights show at 6 p.m. Eastern Sunday on FS1).

4-Second Reads:
Robert Hight has competed in the NHRA Southern Nationals 12 times, and every year since 2005, his first race at the track.
Hight has advanced to the final round of the Southern Nationals six times, winning three times (2007, 2010, 2014). Of those six finals, he’s faced a teammate three times, twice winning.
Hight is 22-9 in elimination rounds in the Southern Nationals.
Hight has qualified No. 1 once for the Southern Nationals – in 2012. He advanced to the finals that year but lost to Ron Capps.
Hight is 7-5 in first-round matchups in the Southern Nationals.
Hight is currently sixth in Funny Car points standings, down one spot from fifth from the previous race.
In his career, Hight has 37 victories and 380 round wins. He has 49 No. 1 qualifying spots, tied for 13th all-time in NHRA’s professional categories.
Hight’s most recent NHRA victory – 2016 NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
Hight’s most recent No. 1 qualifying effort – 2016 Fall Nationals in Dallas, Texas.
Hight’s best time/speed at Atlanta – 3.953 seconds (2016 E1); 327.43 (2016 E1)
Hight’s best time/speed of career – 3.828 seconds (2017 Gainesville E1); 334.82 mph (2017 Gainesville E1)