2009 NHRA Funny Car champ Robert Hight has been keeping busy during the off-season, testing his John Force Racing Funny Car and helping to put together rookie Brittany Force’s Top Fuel team – all part of his job as driver and President of John Force Racing.
“I'm super-excited,” said Hight in a recent NHRA teleconference. “The last time NHRA had a new sponsor in 2009, which was Full Throttle, I won the championship. To come out and be the first Mello Yello champ, that's my goal. We've all had good luck at Pomona. We've won that race quite a few years in a row, the Winternationals. No different this year. We feel we have three great Funny Cars, Ford Mustangs, that can come out and win. It's going to be exciting what that Boss 500 can do in Top Fuel. We've got to prove ourselves in Top Fuel, we've never been there. I believe we have the people here. Mike Neff and Jimmy Prock have been around dragsters. Nothing different. We're all going to work together to try to win two classes every race we go to.”
“What I'm looking for with my Auto Club Mustang is a little more consistency,” continued Hight. “We got hot last year and won four in a row, but I want to win races throughout the whole season and definitely be ready for the Countdown to win the championship. We signed a long-term deal with Auto Club. They're on for five years. That's big. We have to prove to them that we can do this and do a good job for them.”
Hight, who also happens to be John Force’s son-in-law, believes Brittany will be as successful in Top Fuel as her sister Courtney was in Funny Car last season – she won once and finished fifth in points on her way to winning the Auto Club Road to the Future Award as rookie of the year.
“If our learning curve with a dragster isn't too long, she's going to be right there in the hunt,” said Hight. “I mean, I don't see at all why she can't make the Countdown. I'm not trying to put extra pressure on her or the team. I feel right off the bat, that's another car that ought to make the Countdown. We've seen before, no matter what position you're in, you can win it. At the press conference in January, she gave a great interview. She's got the best coach in the world with her dad. She also has Courtney, who just went through the ropes a year ago. She's got everything she needs right here in front of her and she'll do fine.”
All the time he has spent around the dragster has made Hight a bit curious. “Would I like to know what it's like to drive a dragster? Yes, I ask questions all the time,” confessed Hight. “Friends like (2011 Top Fuel champ) Del Worsham, he's driven both, kind of explained the differences. Would I like to know the difference? Sure, I would. I like Pro Stock. Those guys in there pulling gears, revving the thing up on the starting line. I love all that about NHRA drag racing. I'm going to stick to fuel Funny Cars.”
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.
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