Hight Focuses On The Big Picture At Midwest Nationals

After losing during the second round of eliminations at the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway, Robert Hight was relieved he only had to wait one week before returning to the drag strip.

The NHRA Midwest Nationals were right around the corner, with preliminary qualifying sessions at World Wide Technology Raceway only five days away.  

The three-time Funny Car champion has learned his lesson time and time again about what it takes to remain calm under pressure. While most drivers choose to focus on one round at a time, Hight elects to keep his eye on the big picture.

“We’ve had the best car all year, we’re still No. 1 in points, we’ve won the most races,” Hight said. “You can’t let one bad weekend get you down, or the team.”

In his mind, the opening round of the Countdown to the Championship at Maple Grove (Pa.) Raceway was worse. Yes, he captured his 60th career win and seventh victory of the season there, but due to the NHRA playoff design, he also lost his 280-point lead.

As he stood in the John Force Racing big rig following his early defeat in Charlotte, Hight kept a tight smile on his face. The loss might’ve been unexpected, but his plan hadn’t changed.

“Try to win every single race we go to, every round. That’s what this is really all about,” Hight said. “We’ll get right back at it and do what we know how to do.”

The Auto Club-sponsored Chevrolet Camaro SS found its groove once again at World Wide Technology Raceway on Friday night, as Hight sent his steed down the track and made the fastest Funny Car pass since 2019 — going 336.32 mph for a 3.858-second elapsed time.

He also locked down the provisional No. 1 qualifying position in the process.

On Saturday, Hight relied on his strong Friday night performance to secure his fifth No. 1 spot of the season going into Sunday eliminations. In the final qualifying attempt of the day, he turned in a 3.900-second ET.

Hight admitted he had left the door to the championship open after the Carolina Nationals, but in St. Louis and beyond, he’s committed to keeping it closed.

“This team has been together for a long time. We know what we need to do, we know how to win,” Hight said.

Listen to SPEED SPORT’s interview with Robert Hight from the NHRA Carolina Nationals.

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