Keeping Pace

Hight, Massey and Anderson claim zMAX wins

Robert Hight celebrates his NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car victory at zMAX Dragway in Concord, NC. (Photo courtesy of NHRA)
Robert Hight celebrates his NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car victory at zMAX Dragway in Concord, NC. (Photo courtesy of NHRA)

Auto Club Ford Mustang driver Robert Hight becomes just the fifth Funny Car racer to win four consecutive events in NHRA history, and joins the ranks of Don Prudhomme, Kenny Bernstein, his team owner John Force and Cruz Pedregon, who he defeated in the finals, to accomplish the feat. Hight used a reaction time of .058-second at the start of his 4.076 second pass at 314.83 mph to secure his 27th career win.

Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations

CONCORD, N.C. – NHRA Funny Car driver Robert Hight raced to his fourth consecutive victory of the season Sunday by winning the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Spencer Massey (Top Fuel) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) also secured wins at the fifth race of 2012 in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

 

Auto Club Ford Mustang driver Hight becomes just the fifth Funny Car racer to win four consecutive events in NHRA history, and joins the ranks of Don Prudhomme, Kenny Bernstein, his team owner John Force and Cruz Pedregon, who he defeated in the finals, to accomplish the feat. Hight used a reaction time of .058-second at the start of his 4.076 second pass at 314.83 mph to secure his 27th career win.

 

“This is unbelievable," Hight said. "This class is so tough. Racing those three guys in the final, Cruz, Capps, Force, those guys are all Hall of Famers. They’re definitely guys that I grew up watching, and they all have more wins than me, so just to be out there racing those guys and to actually beat them is unbelievable. To win one of these races is tough, and to have four in a row, it’s stuff that you don’t even dream about. I don’t see why we got to stop here, right? That was a 40-point swing for us in the final. That’s gaining 40 points on everybody but the runner-up. That’s big time. I want to keep this going. It’s not that easy to win out here, so you don’t want to give this up. You may never win another one.”

 

Massey is also enjoying a strong start to the year as he notched his third win of the early season. Massey and his FRAM/Prestone dragster, has yet to lose in a final round appearance this year and his 3.802 second pass at 332.18 was able to defeat his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher in the U. S. Army Top Fuel dragster. Massey also set the national speed record with his speed of 332.18 mph and he takes over the points lead from teammate Antron Brown.

 

“It’s unbelievable," Massey said. "Starting out running 328 mph in qualifying and then coming up this morning and blistering a 330 and then just trying to go down the racetrack in the final and running 332; we were just trying to go A to B and make them beat us. When I went across the finish line I didn’t know who won until I made the turnoff and it wasn’t until they were giving me the trophy that they told me I’d run 332 mph. That’s unreal. It just shows you how awesome this Prestone and Fram team of [crew chiefs] Phil Shuler and Todd Okuhara is running. The car always pulls hard on every run, and on that 332 it never let up. It pulled as hard at the finish line as it did at 330 feet. You know you’re on a good run when it does that. You just have to be focused on the starting line and have your head in the game. It’ll show you which driver knows what’s going on at the Four-Wide Nationals. I love it.”

 

This was the second NHRA Four-Wide Nationals win for Anderson who calls the Charlotte area home for he and his race team. The driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GXP held off a hard-charging Erica Enders in her GK Racing Chevy Cobalt. The 6.540 second pass at 212.23 powered him to his 72nd career win and adds to his points lead in the category.

 

“I am off to a good start this year," Anderson said. "I’ve been in three finals, and leading the points. I have a great race car and Jason has a great race car. The Summit team is on fire. These are two of the very best cars we’ve had. When you’re racing four wide, you always feel like an underdog. Even if you have the fastest car, you have guys who cut .000 lights every time and let’s face it, I’m not one of those guys. I’ve complained about this [four-wide] concept, but I guess it’s time to embrace it.”

 

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to action April 27-29 with the 25th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston.




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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.





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