CHEVROLET AT BRISTOL
What: NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
When: Friday, June 13-Sunday, June 16
Where: Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tennessee
TV: FS1 will telecast eliminations and finals live at 2 p.m. ET June 16
Chevrolet aims to add to victory total at Bristol Dragway
Runaway Funny Car points leader Robert Hight seeks fifth win in 11 events
DETROIT (June 12, 2019) – Soon after recording his 49th career Funny Car victory, Robert Hight paused amid the congratulatory handshakes and jokingly said, “You know what’s really crazy is that I’m only 100 back from John (Force).”
True, though Hight, who turns 50 on August 20, has plenty of time to make inroads on the 16-time National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car world champion and teammate. He’ll attempt to win for the fifth time in 11 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events this weekend in the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Hight, driver of the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS, increased his Funny Car championship points lead to 208 with the victory Jun 9 at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas. The 49th win tied Don Prudhomme for 13th on the all-time list of professional categories.
“It’s a real big deal. I can’t believe my name is used in the same sentence as Don Prudhomme,” said Hight, who also has two runner-up finishes this season. “We didn’t have the best of luck during qualifying (ninth) in Topeka, but we were able to make things happen on Sunday and get this thing in the winner’s circle.”
Force, who will seek his NHRA record-extending 150th career victory, is third in the standings in the PEAK Coolant & Motor Oil Camaro SS. He has advanced to the semifinals six times this season.
Teammate Austin Prock reached the semifinals for the first time in his 10 Top Fuel races driving the Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet dragster at Topeka. He’s ninth in the standings, while teammate Brittany Force, driving the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet dragster, is three points out of second place.
“I think it’s going to be a good race weekend for us after what we accomplished last weekend,” Prock said. “I’m hoping we can make it some rounds on race day and I’m hoping for a golden Father’s Day present for my old man (Hight crew chief Jimmy Prock).”
Chevrolet Pro Stock drivers, who have won all six races, are off until June 21-23 at Norwalk, Ohio.
Entered in Stock Eliminator competition, driving their Chevrolet COPO Camaros, are 2016 class champion Jeff Strickland of Red Bay, Alabama; Adam Badgett of Mount Airy, North Carolina; Bob Letellier of Biddeford, Maine; Mike Lettelier of New York City; Darren Poole-Adams of Shelby, North Carolina; Jeff Warren of Clinton, North Carolina; and Chip Johnson of Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Competing in Super Stock in their COPO Camaros will be Jeffrey Bragg of Fort Myers, Florida, and Bob Lettelier.
FS1 will telecast eliminations and finals live at 2 p.m. ET June 16.
CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, ADVANCE AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (2017 class champion; two-time No. 1 qualifier; won at Houston; runner-up at Las Vegas and Atlanta): “I’m excited to get to Bristol. I’ve never won the race. This team, we’re finally turning a corner. We’d been struggling the last couple races but last weekend in Topeka we put a 3.69 on the board and I feel like we are definitely finding our footing moving into the next few races.”
AUSTIN PROCK, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONTANA BRAND/ROCKY MOUNTAIN TWIST CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (Making 11th start; No. 3 qualifier in last race, a career best, and advanced to semifinals for first time): “This Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team is just coming off our best result of the season. We finished in the semis and I’m really looking forward to continuing to get better and better into the next race and the rest of the season. We’ve made improvements each weekend and everyone is working great together. Mike Green and Ronnie Thompson are really working their magic.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK COOLANT 7 MOTOR OIL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (2017 class champion; class points leader; has won four races and has six No. 1 qualifier honors): “I’ve only won once in Bristol so I’m looking forward to getting back there and doing better than we did last year. It’s also Father’s Day weekend and my daughter, Autumn is here. It would be really special to get another win with her.”
JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK COOLANT AND MOTOR OIL/HERCULINER CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (has 149 class victories; two-time No. 1 qualifier this season; six-time semifinalist; nine-time winner at track): (Speaking of racing with daughter Brittany on Father’s Day) “To be able to race with my daughters is one of the greatest things in my career. I wasn’t there to help raise them, their mother did that. I never thought they’d want to race so to be able to spend time with them out here where I’ve lived all my life, it gave me a second chance to be a da