Auto Club Funny Car driver Robert Hight ready
to bounce back after Pomona troubles
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 12) – Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS driver Robert Hight is determined to bounce back from a difficult first race of 2017 after a first-round exit in the Circle K NHRA Winternationals this weekend at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Hight left first and was in front of Del Worsham and pulling away with his special California Highway Patrol paint scheme before pulling the tires loose past half-track and slowing to a pass of 4.313 seconds at 213.94 mph. Worsham, meanwhile, moved to the second round with a 4.008-second pass at 313.15 mph.
“Yeah, our clutch package isn’t very friendly right now,” Hight said. “Our car doesn’t lock the clutch up like our other two (John Force Racing Camaros) do, so we are going to change some stuff in the clutch. We are going to do that and we are probably going to change most of the clutch to where it is more like what our other teams are running so then when we get to Phoenix next week we can share more information with our teammates.”
Hight qualified No. 5 after a solid pass Saturday, but that was his lone full pull of the weekend.
“We made a decent run last night to get in the show but it wasn’t a good weekend for the Auto Club Chevrolet,” Hight said. “One run down the track – that is not going to cut it. We are going to work hard and get back at it in Phoenix.”
Crew chief Mike Neff said the clutch was too aggressive in the middle of the track, but he and co-crew chiefs Jon Schaffer and Jason McCullough learned a lot about the car for the remainder of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
“It was just too aggressive when it goes to lock up,” Neff said. “I tried to back it off enough to where I thought it would be all right, and it was doing everything we wanted it to, but when it went to lock up, it was sticking the clutch and kicking the tires loose. It’s an area we know we need to address. Everything else looks really good. Once we make some changes and get that fixed, we should be really good. That’s the positive of this weekend.”
The next race is the NHRA Arizona Nationals on Feb. 24-26 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz.