Auto Club driver Robert Hight earns No. 9 qualifying spot, seeks first victory of the season at Arizona Nationals
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25) – Robert Hight said he and the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS team remain determined on getting the car back on track and vying for round and race victories after qualifying No. 9 for Sunday’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
Hight turned in a best qualifying effort of 3.897 seconds at 325.45 mph and will face Del Worsham in the opening round of Sunday’s race, the second stop on the 2017 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
It marks the second consecutive race the two will face each other: Worsham won the last time in the season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals two weeks ago at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Hight holds a slight advantage all-time over Worsham, 17-16.
Hight said the team is still learning and focused on achieving better results.
“The good news is that yes, it’s going down the track, but it’s slow,” said Hight, a four-time finalist in the NHRA Arizona Nationals. “I feel that you learn a lot more when the car goes down the track, rather than if it shakes or smokes the tires, you don’t learn a lot. We’ve changed a lot of things in this car, and so it’s still going down the track – just not as quick as we want.”
But Hight feels optimistic in winning at Wild Horse Pass, a track where he won in 2012 after qualifying No. 8.
“(Crew chief) Mike Neff says he’s got a game plan to speed it up in the morning,” Hight said “With any luck, we can get some round wins tomorrow and get this thing on track. We’ve got a race to win tomorrow, and we’re going to try to pick this thing up. It’s missing half of tenth, and we should have been running 3.85 tonight instead of 3.90.
“But as I said, at least you learn a lot more when you go down the track, so I’m ready for tomorrow.”
Hight’s Funny Car teammate, Courtney Force, earned the No. 2 spot, while team owner John Force is No. 12. Brittany Force, in the Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster, qualified No. 7.