Robert Hight has opened the season with a win and a tough second round loss. The 2009 Full Throttle Funny Car champion is looking to regain some momentum at the NHRA Nationals this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“The win at the Winternationals was just what this Auto Club Ford Mustang needed after the way we ended the 2010 season,” said Hight. “Then at the Gatornationals we had to race John Force again which is always tough and we got the win but couldn’t seal the deal. I was thrilled to see (Mike) Neff get the win for JFR. We are in third place in the points but we want to go rounds and not race our teammates until the semis or the finals.”

“Qualifying will be the key. We need to get all our Mustangs in the top half of the field and preferably in the top four. That will be our goal heading into Las Vegas.”

Since the Gatornationals Hight has been back at the Yorba Linda, California shop coordinating the development of the John Force Racing Road Show but on the weekends he has been getting his fill of motorsports in two very different venues.

“The weekend after the Gatornationals I went to the March Meet in Bakersfield. Auto Club of Southern California has a big sponsorship up there and I love checking out the nostalgia cars and dragsters,” said the 2009 March Meet Grand Marshal. “Last year John (Force) went up there as the Grand Marshal but this year it was just me as a fan. I had a great time watching guys like Ron Capps and Del Worsham race. We are putting together some of John’s early Funny Cars for the Road Show so it was good inspiration for me to get those cars as perfect as possible.”

“Last weekend I went to Fontana for the Auto Club 400. I love going to NASCAR races and just walking through the garages. The crew guys on the NASCAR teams are great and I could talk with them all day. I’ve talked with the guys on Greg Biffle’s team a couple of times and I spent some time with Kurt Busch who was racing the Auto Club car at the race last weekend.”

As a former crew man on Force’s dominating Castrol GTX teams of the ‘90s Hight knows that it is the people behind the scenes that have a lot to do with his success on the track. That attitude and awareness is one of the reasons that Hight is so close with his team, particularly crew chief Jimmy Prock.

“When I first started driving I asked John for advice and the best tip he gave me was to make Jimmy my best friend. He did that with Austin Coil and they won 15 championships together. Jimmy and I talk all the time. He is always thinking about ways to make my Mustang quicker. We haven’t had any crew guys leave our team in over four seasons and that helps when it comes to setting up and tuning our Mustang.”

That consistency has paid off for Hight who has won twice at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hight is just three round wins away from 200 career round wins. He was one of the quickest drivers to get 100 round wins needing only 94 starts to hit that mark. The 12th annual NHRA Nationals would be the Alturas, California native’s 138th start and a run to the finals would give him and even 200 round wins.

Hight is also looking to become a 20-time Funny Car NHRA national event winner a feat only accomplished by eight other Funny Car drivers.