Robert Hight and the Auto Club of Southern California Chevy Camaro SS team earned their third NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car world championship Sunday when they had a runner-up finish at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. Hight and the Auto Club crew became only the fifth Funny Car team to earn more than two titles. They join the ranks of Don Prudhomme, Raymond Beadle, Kenny Bernstein and John Force.
By the time Hight entered the finals, he only needed to ensure he did not pick up any sort of penalty to clinch the victory. After an epic, crowd pleasing, long burnout, Hight wasn’t able to back the car up giving Beckman a solo run to the race win. En route to the championship victory, Hight entered race day qualified fifth for the Finals, a position that had him facing team owner John Force in the first round. Hight would end the legendary driver’s quest for a 17th championship with the quickest pass of the session, second quickest of race day, 3.945-seconds and 327.82 mph that bettered Force’s 5.234 at 141.97 after tire smoke. In the second round, Hight defeated Shawn Langdon with a 3.976-second pass at 324.75 mph.
In the semifinals, Hight would face championship contender Matt Hagan. Hight powered his Auto Club Camaro to a 3.977-second pass at 324.59 mph outrunning Hagan’s 4.014 at 326.95. The bid into the finals would set Hight up to only need to not be penalized in the finals, meaning as long as he did not cross the center line, hit a cone or the wall or oil down the race track, he would become the 2019 champion. Despite not making the pass, Hight was not penalized and had enough of a points lead to take the 2019 Funny Car title.