CHEVROLET AT PHOENIX
What: Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals
When: Friday, Feb. 22-Sunday, Feb. 24
Where: Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona
TV: FS1 live eliminations and finals, 6 p.m. ET February 24
Chevy Racing seeks to carry momentum in the Arizona desert
Strong start to the season gives teams, drivers confidence entering Round 2
DETROIT (Feb. 20, 2019) – It’s not an overstatement that two-time Funny Car champion Robert Hight loves the performance of his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS.
Following multiple strong preseason testing sessions in suburban Phoenix and winning the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) season opener Feb. 11 in Southern California, the John Force Racing driver is looking forward to returning this weekend to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona, to compete in the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals.
Hight, who punctuated a consistent 2018 campaign with two of his four wins in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship and finished runner-up in the Funny Car standings, earned the 61st No. 1 qualifier honor of his Funny Car career – tying Cruz Pedregon for seventh in all professional categories – with a 3.871-second (329.67 mph) run in the opener at Auto Club Speedway in Pomona, California.
He bettered the elapsed time and speed with a 3.856-second/331.61 mph run in the second round of eliminations and went on to claim his 460th elimination round victory and 46th career win in the final.
“We put the work in during the offseason and that showed at Pomona,” said Hight, who will compete in his 330th Funny Car race this weekend. ”I’m really excited to see what this car can do, and you know, (crew chief) Jimmy Prock, I’ve never seen him more confident. He’s really happy with the way this thing runs so going into Phoenix I’m ready to show more of what this team is capable of.”
Hight and three-time Pro Stock champion Jason Line are the active leaders in all pro categories with at least one victory in 15 consecutive seasons.
Line, driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS, was runner-up for the second year in a row in the Pomona opener. He also was the runner-up to Chris McGaha (Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevrolet Camaro SS) at Wild Horse Pass last February.
Line’s KB Racing teammate, Greg Anderson (Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS), will seek to join John Force (1,313), Warren Johnson (874) and Tony Schumacher (842) as the only drivers in all pro categories with 800 round wins. He’s competed in 1,198 rounds – the most of any active Pro Stock driver. Anderson, a four-time Pro Stock champion, is also tied with Bob Glidden (102) for third on the all-time No. 1 qualifier list.
Five-time Pro Stock champion and 2018 class championship runner-up Jeg Coughlin Jr. (JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro SS) will mark his 1,000th elimination round as a professional should he reach the final round.
Driving their Chevrolet COPO Camaros in Stock Eliminator will be 2017 national class champion Justin Lamb of Henderson, Nevada; Tom Ferruggia of Menifee, California; Jay Randall of Maple Grove, Minnesota; Jerry Cramer of Bluffdale, Utah; and Tim Seymour of San Dimas, California.
Entered in Super Stock in their COPO Camaros are Vic Cagnazzi of New York City; Kirsten Ball of Anchorage, Alaska; Ryan Priddy of Chino, California; Kyle Seipel of Pleasanton, California; Roy Cracraft of Meza, Arizona; and Lane Goldstein of Calabasas, California.
FS1 will telecast live qualifications at 7 p.m. ET February 23. FS1 will telecast taped eliminations and finals at 6 p.m. ET February 24.
CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, ADVANCE AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (2017 class champion; No. 4 qualifier in opener): “My Advance Auto Parts team, we have a long season ahead of us and we knew things were going to a be a work in progress. New crew chiefs coming on board, whole new team and moving from all our Alan Johnson Racing parts to John Force Racing parts so it’s going to be a while, going to be in the works. We made some good runs and I’m looking forward to seeing what we do.”
AUSTIN PROCK, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONTANA BRAND/ROCKY MOUNTAIN TWIST CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (Making second start; won maiden elimination round at Pomona opener): “I’m really excited to work with Jon Schaffer and Ronnie Thompson. We’re on the same page and have fun racing together and the results will come. Phoenix is the only racetrack where we have any bit of data with the dragster because we got to test there for one day before Pomona, and hopefully we can build off of that and build off of what we did in Pomona. I think we’ll definitely be a contender in Phoenix and we’re going to keep picking away at it.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (2017 class champion; won season opener): “We saw a lot of great racing in Pomona and you’re going to see more of it all year long. It’s close and competitive and you have to be on your game at the starting line. You have to have consistency with your car. We have that and are going into Phoenix with the points lead so I’m looking to see what this team can do and continue upon that. It’s always an interesting race for us and you know, we’ve won there before and set some records so we’re confident and hoping to be back in that winner’s circle again. It would be a great start to the season with back-to-back wins.”
JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, CHEVROLET ACCESSORIES PEAK CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (has 149 class victories; advanced to semifinals in opener; eight-time winner at the track): “We had a good start in Pomona. We made some needed adjustments and got this thing going fast. Heading into Phoenix, I think we’ll continue to build on that and keep this car moving forward. We want to get win 150 so that’s what we’re striving for here. We made some notable runs at testing earlier this month so we have an idea of what we can do to get this hot rod from A to B and go some rounds.”
JEG COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM/ELITE PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (five-time class champion; runner-up in 2018 points; three-time winner at the track): “We have every intention of winning this race again. The JEGS.com hot rod was fast in Pomona, but for one reason or another we ended up on the bottom half of the qualifying ladder and had severe tire spin in Round 1 that sent us home early. So, we’re looking for a reversal of fortune this weekend. Obviously, whenever you race at a facility where you’ve won in the past your comfort level is higher than normal. Plus, the fact that we were just here running really good numbers lets you know the team has a handle on the track.”
GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (four-time class champion; with one elimination round, will become fourth driver in all pro classes with 800): “We got off to a little bit of a rough start with my car in Pomona, but we’re putting that behind us and starting fresh in Phoenix. We like this racetrack, and we tested there just a couple of weeks ago, so we really don’t have any excuses. We feel good about our team and our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros going into this race, just as we did in Pomona. We started the season with confidence, and that was reinforced in the final round at the Winternationals. Our goal is to add to that and get another win for Ken Black, Summit Racing, and Chevrolet.”
JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (has 100 Pro Stock final-round appearances; runner-up in opener; runner-up in 2018 event at track; has 596 round wins): “Getting to the final round with the silver Summit Racing Chevy Camaro in Pomona was great, but obviously the goal this weekend is to get one more win light on Sunday. I’m looking forward to the first qualifying session and getting back in the driver’s seat because this is a good car. It’s fun to drive, for sure. They usually have very dry, cool air this time of year in Phoenix, and that’s good for the Pro Stock cars. That can make this a fast racetrack, even considering the elevation.”
BO BUTNER, JIM BUTNER AUTO, JIM BUTNER AUTO SALES CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (2017 class champion; winner of Pomona opener): “After winning Pomona last year, I didn’t win again until the second-to-last race of the year. We didn’t have a bad car, we just didn’t have the luck. I do not feel that way this year at all. We have a great car, a great team, and I’m very excited to keep it going. We’re going to try to win them all. The KB Racing team is just as strong as ever, and we’ll get even better.”
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS RACING, HARLOW SAMMONS OF ODESSA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (two-time winner in 2018, including the race at Wild Horse Pass): “I am looking forward to racing at Wildhorse pass this weekend. We finally broke our round losing streak in Pomona and are looking to go rounds on Sunday. Not only did we test in Phoenix before the season, but we also had a lot of luck at this race last year. Winning this race last year does give me a sense of confidence. It’s more of a mental confidence, I think. We have similar parts and pieces to what we were running last year, I just hope it’s accompanied with a little bit of luck, too.”