Auto Club of Southern California driver Robert Hight has been crowned 2017 NHRA Funny Car Champion. The John Force Racing driver took his second title in Pomona, California on Sunday.
Speaking after winning the title, Hight commented by saying:
It’s been an eventful weekend. “Twenty-four hours ago, I wasn’t even qualified for this event, and we were leading the points. We got it together, got in the 15th spot. If you’re in, you have a chance, especially when you have a team like we’ve got with (crew chief) Jimmy Prock, (co-crew chief) Chris Cunningham. You just believe that those guys are a couple adjustments away from turning this thing around.
Hight beat Tom Wilkerson who had beaten Hight’s team mate Courtney Force. Del Worsham beat Ron Capps and that was enough to give Hight his second Funny Car Championship. Hight commented by saying:
Del Worsham came over to me before first round and said, ‘I don’t think I can outrun him, but I’m not going to give it to him. I’m going to make sure my car goes down the track. “Del Worsham did the right thing by making it go down the track. It’s pretty cool; it’s been 10 years since Chevrolet has won a championship in Funny Car, and we’re back.
Hight beat Force on their second and third run however when the Californian got the win light on the third run his engine exploded and John Force Racing had to go to the back up car and change to the Auto Club of Southern California decals.
Hight commented by saying:
“That was a crazy, crazy run. “When I got back to the pits, there were Advance crew members and PEAK crew members, and we really rallied to get this thing back together.” We did a lot of work over the winter to put John Force Racing back together. “This was kind of a building year. It’s crazy how this building year turned into a dream. We could’ve never dreamed that we’d win two championships.
Everybody worked their tail off and was quiet and knew they had a job to do. This is just huge for John Force Racing. For a couple of years, we have struggled but it is such a great group. We signed a long-term deal with Auto Club and they deserve better than what we were giving them. Jimmy Prock, Chris Cunningham they got us back in the game. It’s been a long time and you want it so bad.
Not many guys can say they are a two-time champion. “There are only a handful of guys who are a two-time Funny Car champ.
We have a bunch of people back in Indianapolis at Force American Made who we need to really thank. “They build all this stuff. They build our race cars, mount our bodies, build all of our parts, engine parts, clutch parts and superchargers. These guys run those Hurco machines, and they really work their butts off. This championship is as much for them as it is for us.