ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals
Hight riding a rollercoaster in pursuit of Funny Car title
Hight, a former trapshooting champion who served for five championship seasons as a crewman on father-in-law John Force's Castrol GTX Ford, was reminded of the tenuous nature of drag racing success last month when he followed up his third career win with a first round exit in the CSK Nationals at
As a result, he enters the 37th annual ACDelco Gatornationals in fifth place in NHRA POWERade Funny Car points, just one round back of leader Ron Capps.
His goal this week is to regain the lead on a racetrack on which he is the Funny Car record holder for quarter mile time at 4.749 seconds and on which crew chief Jimmy Prock won three years ago with the Team Castrol/Auto Club Ford Mustang and then driver Gary Densham.
"Looking at the guys who are going to be the hitters," Hight said, "if we could have gone some rounds (at
Instead, the Auto Club hybrid shook the tires, forcing Hight to abort the run and handing the victory to
"We're still trying to fight this (tire) issue," Hight said. "We flatten the (rear) tire too much and (the car) doesn't make driveshaft speed quick enough, but I still have high expectations. We're still better off this year than we were last year and, when it's all said and
However, Hight, who started last year's Gatornationals from the No. 1 qualifying position as a rookie, won't have one of last year's weapons at his disposal this time: the element of surprise.
After going to the final round four times, winning twice and starting from the No. 1 position a category-best six times as a rookie, the soft-spoken Californian silenced all of those who questioned his credentials when Force put him in the Auto Club Mustang even though he never before had driven competitively.
Despite the presence of five new crew members, Hight is enthusiastic about his chances this year.
"We've got a great team," he said. "Even before we won
Despite his considerable early driving success, Hight remains wary.
"I've still got a lot to learn," he said, "and I
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