AAA Auto Club
CONCORD, NC — Points leader Robert Hight and the Auto Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro SS Funny Car team are headed to the second four-wide event, the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, determined to add to their early season success.
The 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season has been full of triumphs for Hight and the Auto Club team. They’ve had three back-to-back No. 1 qualifiers and three victories starting with the Winternationals and 50th anniversary Gatornationals. The team had a slight misstep beginning at the first four-wide event of the season in Las Vegas where they made an exit in the first quad and then struggled during Friday qualifying at the most recent SpringNationals in Houston. Led by the masterminds of Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham, the Auto Club team was able to regain their championship form Saturday during qualifying to secure the No. 5 position and took home their third Wally on Sunday in a John Force Racing double-up victory with Brittany Force.
“This season has been off to a really great start for this team. I’ve never seen a more focused group of guys and they get the job done. The weather conditions were all over the place in Houston and we were able to get this thing where it needed to be to get the win,” said Hight. “We had a week off and now we’re getting back into it and hoping to come back out on top in Charlotte.”
BAYTOWN, TX — For the third time in John Force Racing history the team has swept the nitro categories at an NHRA national event. Brittany Force with Advance Auto Parts and Robert Hight with AAA Texas picked up victories at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Park on Sunday.
“This is the third time Brittany and I have had double ups. Really fourth if you count the championship in 2017. Getting the championship, we seem to do really well together in these circumstances so it was really cool to be down there when she made the corner and throw a bunch of Mello Yello on her car as she came around. It was pretty cool,” said Hight. “That team is new. We just put that team together and to see what they’ve accomplished in the short amount of time was cool. Usually it takes a team, a driver and everybody awhile to gel and especially with our John Force Racing parts that we make. David Grubnic and all of his guys, they’ve adapted well and have had two finals in a row and got a win. They’re on their way.”
After a history making Saturday where Brittany Force secured the No. 1 qualifying position with her father, Force battled her way through Cameron Ferre, Doug Kalitta, and Clay Millican before taking down three-time world champion Antron Brown for her ninth career victory, first of the season and second consecutive at Houston Raceway Park.
BRITTANY FORCE MAINTAINS NO. 3 SPOT HEADING INTO ELIMINATIONS AT THE DENSO SPARK PLUGS FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS
LAS VEGAS — Brittany Force and the Advance Auto Parts team held onto the No. 3 qualifying position Saturday at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Her teammates, Robert Hight who is No. 9, John Force who is No. 6 and Austin Prock now No. 12 all made steady performance improvements through two days at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Brittany Force and the Advance Auto Parts team are qualified No. 3 off the efforts of their first qualifying pass of 3.733-seconds at 322.88 mph from Friday afternoon. Starting off Saturday qualifying, the Advance Auto Parts team ran into trouble on the burnout and weren’t able to reverse back to the starting line and had to coast to the finish. The run would have only been half-track after the team found and fixed a problem from Friday. For her final qualifying try, Force shut off early but crossed the line for a 3.742-second pass 297.29 mph.
“We’re the No. 3 qualifier but we had a few ups and downs. Its better that things happen during qualifying and not on race day. We lost that third round because of a reverser cable. That was unfortunate but we all learned from it and we’re all moving on going into race day,” said Force. “I’m excited to be out here at the DENSO Four-Wide. This Advance Auto Parts team, we’re looking for our first win together so hoping to get the job done tomorrow.”
LAS VEGAS — Robert Hight and the Auto Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro SS Funny Car team are headed to the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas ready to add another Wally to their roster.
With the points lead, two victories and three consecutive No. 1 qualifiers, Hight has had a stellar start to the 2019 Mello Yello Drag Racing season. At the most recent 50th anniversary Gatornationals, he posted the quickest time of the weekend in the Funny Car class with a 3.852 and made history as the first racer since Kenny Bernstein in 1987 to have three No. 1s in the first three races of the season. Heading to Sin City for the fourth event, Hight is eager to continue leading the power rankings and, with Jimmy Prock, Chris Cunningham and the Auto Club of Southern California team keeping his car consistent that doesn’t seem far out of reach for the two-time Funny Car world champion.
“It’s pretty awesome to drive a car like this. Sometimes you count your blessings because you don’t know how long it’s going to last and things change. It really all boils down to hard work. Qualifying No. 1 at the first three races shows we have a really good handle on this race car. We’ve been quick everywhere we’ve been,” said Hight. “I really have to give it up to Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham, and my Auto Club guys. They’ve really put in the work to make this thing go rounds and I can’t wait to see how it does at the Four-Wide in Las Vegas.”
GAINESVILLE, FL — Robert Hight defeated a slew of veteran drag racers on his way to winning the Amalie Motor Oil 50th NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway on Sunday evening. The two-time world champion and his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car team put together a series of four 3.8 passes to pick up his 47th career victory, fourth at the Gatornationals and second this season.
“This is huge. This is my fourth time winning here now. This is a big one. The 50th, there will only be one of these. It seems like my boss, John Force, always wins the big races. We’ve had a 50th anniversary race for NHRA at Pomona in the summer and the big race with Winston Showdown Battle back in the day when he ran the Superman car. He just seems to win all the cool races but I finally got one,” Hight said. “This is a cool race to win and especially with everybody at this race. Anybody of ‘whose who’ of drag racing was at this event. A lot of the people I’ve looked up to growing up as a kid were here and, now, I’m here holding the trophy and they’re watching me. It’s kind of a cool thing.”
First in Hight’s path to victory was long time racer Terry Haddock whose quickest run of the weekend at 4.234-seconds and 284.03 mph wasn’t enough for the 3.869-second, 331.94 mph set-up crew chiefs Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham put into the Auto Club hot rod.
CHANDLER, AZ — Robert Hight and the Auto Club of Southern California team maintain the points lead with a semifinal finish Sunday at the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park outside of Phoenix. Hight defeated John Force in the second round and in Top Fuel, Austin Prock had a second-round finish and Brittany Force had an early Sunday with a first round exit.
In round one, Hight ran a 3.863-second pass at 329.67 mph uncontested after his would-be opponent, Jeff Diehl, had to push back from the starting line. The win set Hight up to race against team owner John Force in the second round.
The Auto Club Camaro crossed the finish line first with a 3.879-second pass at 327.82 mph to defeat Force’s 3.988 at 325.92. Hight and Force also met each other in the semifinals of the NHRA Winternationals where Hight went on to win the event. Hight has now beaten Force four straight times, equaling the longest winning streak by either driver during their rivalry.
In the semifinals, Hight lined up with reigning Funny Car world champion J.R. Todd whom he battled with for the championship until the last day of the 2018 season. Hight ran a 3.922-second pass at 326.24 mph but was outrun by Todd’s 3.919 at 327.19.
POMONA, CA — Robert Hight and the Automobile Club of Southern California team raced way to their victory at a weather delayed Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, the opening event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. On the way to their fourth win, Hight, the John Force Racing president, handed team owner John Force a loss in the semifinals and watched Top Fuel teammates Brittany Force and Austin Prock face-off in a first round duel that earned Prock the first-round win of his career.
After persistent rain cancelled racing on Sunday, Hight and his Auto Club team, who were also the No. 1 qualifiers, came out Monday morning on a mission. After having to step off the throttle in his first-round win against Terry Haddock to run 4.026-seconds, Hight strung together a trio of 3.8-second runs in three good side-by-side races for his 46th career victory and fourth Winternationals win.
“You know, you look at the Funny Car class and I think it’s tougher this year than it was last and that’s saying something so. Everybody is stacked up. It’s not going to be easy,” Hight said. “You’re going to have to be on your game all year long on the starting line. You’re going to have to have consistency with your car.”