Robert Hight Stays Hot At Sonoma Raceway

Robert Hight holds the No. 1 spot in the Funny Car class after day one at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals. (NHRA Photo)
Robert Hight during the NHRA Sonoma Nationals. (NHRA Photo)

SONOMA, Calif. – Defending Funny Car event winner Robert Hight kept his impressive pace going at Sonoma Raceway, powering to the No. 1 spot on Friday during the NHRA Sonoma Nationals.

Clay Millican (Top Fuel), Alex Laughlin (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are also provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories. The event is also the second of three races during the NHRA’s famed Western Swing.

Hight, the current points leader and two-time Sonoma winner, put down a 3.858 second run at 334.65 mph in his Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS. If it holds, Hight would rack up his eighth No. 1 qualifier of the year and 68th in his career.

Shawn Langdon drove to the second spot and Jack Beckman sits in third.

“You know you’re always in for a treat when you come to Sonoma with the Friday night run,” said Hight, who also set the national speed record at the track in 2017. “It’s not like any other track we go to where the atmospheric conditions change so drastically. You know it’s going to be great conditions and this is a great race track. You just have to hit it right. I’ve attended every national event ever held here, first as a fan coming to the races, just dreaming to get to work on one of these cars, then a crew member and now a driver. I love coming here and it’s very special to me.”

Top Fuel’s Millican put up a season-best blast of 3.698 seconds at 330.96 mph to go to No. 1 in his Parts Plus/Laris Motorsports dragster. It would be his third No. 1 qualifier of the year and 23rd in his career if it holds.

Points leader and defending world champ Steve Torrence, who has won eight of the past nine races, is second and his father, Billy, is a spot behind in third.

In Pro Stock, Alex Laughlin went 6.520 seconds at 210.80 mph in his Havoline Chevrolet Camaro to take the No. 1 spot on Friday. If it holds, it would give Laughlin, whose first race in Pro Stock came at Sonoma in 2015, his second No. 1 qualifier.

Deric Kramer is right behind in second, while defending event winner Jeg Coughlin Jr. sits third.

Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle world champ Matt Smith went to the top of the class on his Denso/Stockseth/MSR EBR thanks to his run of 6.779 seconds at a track record speed of 200.83 mph. Smith was the only rider to reach the 200 mph on Friday.

Jerry Savoie is currently second and Eddie Krawiec is third.