ROBERT HIGHT TAKES AUTO CLUB FORD TO WINNER’S CIRCLE AT CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE U.S. NATIONALS
INDIANAPOLIS, IN ---- For the third time in his eight year career, Robert Hight and the Auto Club Ford Mustang have won the most prestigious race on the NHRA Mello Yello Series: the 59th annual Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals. Hight defeated Jack Beckman in the final round 4.111 seconds to 6.072 seconds just three rounds after Hight clinched his spot in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship.
Hight entered the race in the No. 10 spot in the points and left Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in the No. 9 spot and with his 28th career win, the second most for a John Force Racing Funny Car driver.
Entering the race as the No. 7 qualifier, Hight was not overly confident at the end of the day on Sunday. A conversation with crew chief Mike Neff, winner of the past two U.S. Nationals, gave Hight the confidence boost he needed.
“Mike Neff really changed things for me this weekend. Yesterday when the day was over we were seventh and that is not our usual solid qualifying effort. When we got back to the pits he came up to me and said we have them right where we want them. I looked at him like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ He said he has won the last two US Nationals and we didn’t qualify well. He said come Monday we will be fine. He said we will run well,” said a focused Hight.
“To add to the pressure we have to go up there and race Cruz Pedregon in the first round. He is one of the toughest competitors out here and when his car is on, he is tough to beat. We are trying to stay in the Top Ten. There are like a million things going on. I didn’t sleep last night,” said Hight.
It had been thirty five races since Hight saw four win lights on race day. His last win was the Four Wide NHRA Nationals in Charlotte. He had one final round appearance in that stretch losing to Johnny Gray in Topeka this year.
“This is definitely the biggest win of my career. You start doubting yourself. We won four in a row early on last season and then went on a complete dry spell. I think I have only been to one other final and that was Topeka this year,” said Hight who has won at least two NHRA Funny Car races every season his entire career.
This was the sixth year in a row for John Force Racing to win the Funny Car title at the Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals. Hight started the streak in 2008, then teammate Ashley Force Hood followed with wins in 2009 and 2010, and Hight’s current crew chief Mike Neff added his two U.S. Nationals in 2011 and 2012. The team has won eight of the last ten Funny Car titles going back to Gary Densham in 2004.
At the end of the day Force stood in the winner’s circle and surveyed the celebratory atmosphere.
“Winning Indy six years in a row is great. Robert has three Indy wins, I have four and this is three wins in a row for Mike Neff. These guys are the future of this team along with Courtney and Brittany and Ashley who has won this race twice in a row. You really have to just love Indy and how special it is. Robert got into the Countdown so we will have our three Mustangs trying to beat those Dodges and Toyotas. It will be a battle but we had a great day today and I have to thank the fans for sticking with this old truck driver. I will get fixed and we will keep on winning and staying in the fight,” said Force from Hight’s winner’s circle.
Rob MacCachren and Keengan Kincaid Win Big at the “Big House”
(Crandon, WI. Sept 2, 2013)
In the Northern woods of Wisconsin, Mother Nature at times will get what appears to be the upper hand. While the camp fires from Saturday night's festivities slowly fade to black, a white cover of clouds full of moisture move over the wooded landscape. As the early morning hours edge closer to day break the rain begins to fall and eventually turns into a down poor. The TORC Series Presented by AMSOIL Officials were forced to delay the days racing action until late morning. Despite Mothers Natures early attempt to hinder what Johnny Greaves would later say "The best Crandon ever", she graced the fans and teams with clearing skies and warmer temps.
Stand anywhere on the grounds and you will see a mass of devoted off-road race fans that are ready to watch their favorite drivers duke it out one last time at "The Big House" for 2013. From the first ever father and son battle for the AMSOIL Cup to a hometown favorite victory, this day would prove to be one for the record books, the one that many will not forget for years to come.
TRAXXAS PRO LIGHT
Defending 2012 Champion Brad Lovell #1 rocketed out of the starting line up to get the holeshot and the early lead. Lovell continued his lead through lap three until Bradley Morris #24 passed for the lead with Keegan Kincaid #7, the hometown favorite in third. Current point's leader CJ Greaves #33 was in the top five early in the race but was forced to pull in the hot pit area for a tire change taking him out of the running for a podium finish.
Kincaid made a pass on lap four to take the second spot from Brad Lovell and was working on Morris for the lead. Keegan was able to pass Morris on lap four which he maintained to the Competition Yellow. On the restart Kincaid wasted no time extending his lead and took the win while also claiming the fastest lap time and the Traxxas Max Lap award. Lovell fell back and was holding down the third spot until a pierced oil take caught fire and forced Brad to end his day early.
Andrew Caddell made his return to Crandon for the 2013 season driving the #71 Loan Mart truck. Caddell made a hard charge through the field to finish in third after Morris had also pulled off for mechanical reasons on lap eight. Doug Mittag with mid-pack start was able to work his way into fourth and eventually would take over second place for a podium finish.
You only need to know one thing about these fire breathing machines, and that is you are in for one heck of show. The race got off to a bang with Chad Hord #9 and Bryce Menzies #1 going toe-to-toe for the first five laps. Hord got the holeshot into the legendary turn one but Menzies was able to make the pass for the lead on lap one; however Hord fought back and regained the lead on lap two. Menzies wasn't backing down and was able to make a move for the pass on lap five.
At the Competition Yellow it was Menzies, Hord and Jeff Kincaid in the top three with Rob MacCachren and Matt Cook rounding up the top five. On the restart Menzies was able to get a good start and extend his lead from Hord. Rob Mac was working on Kincaid and passed for third and began to reel in Hord, however MacCachren was unable to get by. CJ Greaves #33 had his work cut out for him with a 15th place start, Greaves made his way up to the fifth spot for the restart and eventually passed Kincaid for fourth. Menzies went on to win and also claimed the Oakley Bomb with the fastest lap with Hord in second and MacCachren bringing home third.
RED BULL PRO4X4
After a season long of testing and trying to get the PRO4 dialed in, Rob MacCachren #21 and the Traxxas crew have done just that. Rob MacCachren quickly gained control of the race on the land rush start and never looked back. Scott Douglas #7 was second out of the shoot and was on MacCachren's heels for the first lap; however Rob Mac extended his lead lap-after-lap. Douglas and Ricky Johnson #1 then battled hard through lap five; however Johnny Greaves would make the pass on Johnson to take over third. Johnny and Douglas fought until the last lap, Greaves tried to setup for a last turn pass on Douglas but wasn't able to make the transition into second before the line.
Mark Jenkins piloting the #25 Traxxas PRO4 went for a wild ride on the front stretch after rolling his truck several times. Jenkins nicked the wall after the Red Bull arch just enough that send his truck into a wicked tumble, Jenkins was unharmed in the incident; however the truck was in no shape to continue. Rob MacCachren took the win and the Oakley Bomb with Douglas bringing home second and Greaves finishing off the top three. Mike Jenkins and Todd LeDuc would round of the top five.
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