Just over halfway through the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season reigning Funny Car champion Robert Hight is ready to add another win to his career total at Bristol Dragway. This weekend’s Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals which starts Friday evening with two rounds of Funny Car and Top Fuel qualifying will give the 42-time winner his chance.
“I love Bristol. The fans are great,” said Hight. “You can’t beat that facility. We have won there in the past and I would like to get another win at that track. There is a lot of history there.”
Prior to strapping into his Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro hot rod Hight will participate in the annual charity trapshooting event on Thursday to benefit Speedway Children’s Charities. Hight has participated in this unique event a number of times and has somewhat of an advantage as a former championship trapshooter.
“I don’t get to shoot as much as I used to but I love going out and shooting,” added Hight. “There are a number of drivers that are pretty good so the friendly competition is fun. I’ll have my daughter Autumn with me so it will a great way to start the race weekend. We’ll also get to talk with the media about the race and how our season has been going.”
On his way to Bristol following a solid performance weekend at Virginia Motorsports Park that saw him qualifying No. 2 but get tripped up in the first round Hight is going to see some of the sights with his daughter Autumn and clearing his head.
“We wanted to test on Monday but it rained. Our Auto Club Funny Car ran well in qualifying but the air really changed on Sunday and gave us some problems,” said Hight. “On Tuesday Autumn and I headed on the road to make our way to Bristol. We are going to do some sightseeing along the way. She is travelling with me the whole month of June so it has been a lot of fun.”
The winner of the JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals two weeks ago is looking to get his mojo back at Bristol Dragway, a facility where he won on Father’s Day weekend in 2011 outrunning Ron Capps, Mike Neff, Jeff Arend and Jack Beckman for the win. That day he raced to victory as the No. 6 qualifier. Surprisingly, Hight has never qualified No. 1 at Bristol Dragway but has started race day from one of the top four spots four times since 2005.
During the race weekend Hight will be hosting Pitmaster Malcolm Reed who stars in a wildly popular YouTube series called “How to BBQ Right.” Reed will be barbecuing for the Auto Club team and Hight’s personal guests. Hight is a master around the grill as well regularly feeding family and friends with his Traeger grill.
Qualifying for the Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals will begin at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. for Funny Car and Top Fuel on Friday followed by sessions on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eliminations will begin on Sunday at noon.
JFR PR/Photo Credit Ron Lewis