INDIANAPOLIS – It’s no secret the significance each driver and team on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series circuit places on the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s most prestigious drag race.
It has led to historic performances and some of the most memorable moments in NHRA history. For John Force Racing and Funny Car standout Robert Hight, it has led to a remarkable recent run that includes six straight victories at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
Hight and his 10,000-horsepower Auto Club Ford Mustang has played a big part in that, as his victory at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis a year ago kept JFR’s impressive streak going. Hight, the 2009 Funny Car world champion, will try to push it to seven at this weekend’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, where he will also be seeking his fourth victory at the sport’s biggest event.
“I think it is pretty impressive but winning Indy isn’t anything we take for granted,” Hight said. “It is just a special race on so many levels so to know that John Force Racing has had so much success there the past few years is a great source of pride. You have to focus a lot more during Indy and that might help I guess. You are going all day as soon as you get to the track because there are lots of press conferences and more meet and greets. The fans are great too so you want to make sure they have a special experience.”
Since 2008, every Funny Car victory at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals has featured either Hight, Mike Neff, who now serves as Hight’s crew chief, or Ashley Force Hood. Neff and Hood each have two wins in Indy, while Hight’s three wins include the victory in 2008 that started the impressive streak for the team.
Hight’s first victory at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals came in 2006, giving JFR seven Indy wins in eight years, and it remains a moment he will never forget.
“I have won Indy three times and each time was special,” Hight said. “I remember the first time I won in 2006 and I think it just gives you confidence that you belong. It does put more pressure on you since you want to win again. Last year was a great win and it really made our season along with the win to start the Countdown. The Indy winner’s circle is a special place and I want to get there again.”