Hight Continues Hot Streak In Atlanta
COMMERCE, Ga. – Robert Hight raced to his third Funny Car victory in a row and fourth overall this season on Monday at the rain-delayed Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.
Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.
Hight, the 2009 Funny Car world champion, defeated John Force Racing teammate Courtney Force in a thrilling final at Atlanta Dragway with a performance of 4.049 seconds at 315.05 mph in his Auto Club Ford Mustang. It was the sixth final round appearance in a row for Hight, who extended the John Force Racing team’s consecutive final round streak to 14 races.
“We’ve just got to take it one run at a time,” said Hight, who won his 33rd career event. “It’s a total team effort. First round I was able to save it and pedal the car. Second round my team definitely saved me. My brain got a mental overload. Luckily my team gave me a 4.05 that run. After that we got in sync, we were back as a team again. ”
Hight was not lost on the potential history that would have been made had Force won the final. While the 100th pro win by a female driver in NHRA history is big news, Hight is seeking to make his own history with one of the best starts to a Funny Car season.
“It would have been a big win for Courtney, but, you know what, we’ve got some momentum,” said Hight, who stretched his points lead to 206 points over teammate John Force. “We want to make some history here. This is six straight final rounds. Man, I’ve never done this. Six out of seven, I never would have guessed this. I’ve won three in a row a few times. I want to win four, five. I want to see where we can go.”
Force was consistent in eliminations, posting passes of 4.13, 4.07, 4.13 and 4.11 as she sought to win the 100th race by a female driver in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Her Traxxas Ford Mustang completed the final pass with a 4.117 at 316.01.
“It’s tough,” Force said of her attempt at the 100th win. “For all that pressure that was on me, I wanted to get that win. Not only for my Traxxas team to get into the Traxxas Shootout, but for all the females out there. It’s a hard loss for sure.”
It was the ninth career final round appearance for Force, who was seeking her fourth career Funny Car victory. Force moved into a tie for seventh with Jack Beckman in the Funny Car point standings.
In Top Fuel, Massey beat Doug Kalitta with a 4.269 at 245.85 to claim his first win of the season and 15th of his career. Both Massey’s Battery Extender powered by Schumacher dragster and Kalitta’s Mac Tools dragster lost traction at the start, but Massey won the pedalfest to earn his first professional win at Atlanta Dragway.
“In the final round, we tried standing on it again. With Kalitta running those awesome numbers in qualifying, we knew we couldn’t take them lightly,” said Massey, who climbed to fourth in points. “We spun the tire, got out there, and I tried grabbing a little brake again, got back on it, and got to the finish line first. It wasn’t pretty. There was a lot of smoke, a lot of fire, a lot of oil, but it is what it is.”