Robert Hight joined some pretty select company on Sunday after driving his Ford Mustang to the win in the Funny Car class at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C.
Hight won for the fourth time in five starts and became just the fifth Funny Car driver to win four consecutive events in NHRA history, joining Don Prudhomme, Kenny Bernstein, his team owner, John Force, and Cruz Pedregon, whom he defeated in the finals on Sunday. Hight used a reaction time of .058 second at the start of his 4.076-second run at 314.83 mph for his 27th career win.
Other winners in the top classes were Spencer Massey in Top Fuel and Greg Anderson in Pro Stock. Massey set a national speed record in his final-round win over Tony Schumacher, and Massey took over the season points lead in the process.
“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's win was his third of the season. Massey has yet to lose in a final-round appearance this year, and his 3.802-second pass at 332.18 mph was good enough to beat Don Schumacher Racing teammate Schumacher. Massey set the national speed record with his 332.18 mph.
“It's unbelievable. 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 Phil Shuler and Todd Okuhara is running,” said Massey. “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 Charlotte home. The driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GXP held off Erica Enders in her GK Racing Chevrolet Cobalt. Enders is working to become the first female winner in the NHRA Pro Stock category. The 6.540-second pass at 212.23 mph powered him to his 72nd career win and adds to his points lead in the category.
Four-Wide Nationals Final Results:
Spencer Massey, 3.802 seconds, 332.18 mph def. Tony Schumacher, 3.833 seconds, 320.81 mph and Antron Brown, 3.844 seconds, 322.34 mph and Doug Kalitta, 4.858 seconds, 185.92 mph
Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.076, 314.83 def. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Solara, 4.070, 316.75 and Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.085, 305.91 and John Force, Mustang, 6.814, 106.35.
Greg Anderson, Pontiac GXP, 6.540, 212.23 def. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.608, 210.93 and Vincent Nobile, Dodge Avenger, 14.008, 62.94 and Jason Line, GXP, foul.