READING, Pa. (Sept. 15, 2022) – Robert Hight and the Automobile Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS team are perfectly poised for a fourth championship as they enter this weekend’s Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raveway, the first event in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship, as the top seed.
Hight and his Auto Club team “won” the regular season on the efforts of six victories in nine final round appearances, which ties a career single season high, and three No. 1 qualifiers. Bidding to become just the fourth driver to win as many as four NHRA Funny Car championships (after John Force, Kenny Bernstein and Don Prudhomme), Hight starts the Countdown from the No. 1 position for just the second time. He won his third championship from No. 1 in 2019. However, he has proven that it doesn’t matter where you start, winning his first championship in 2019 from last place. Hight is also tied with Matt Hagan for the most Countdown Funny Car wins at 12.
“It’s been a great season so far. Six wins, it matches a career best and, more importantly, reflects just how hard this Auto Club team has worked. These guys made sure we didn’t have a repeat of 2021, we struggled, and we weren’t happy with how things went,” Hight said. “This year has been a turnaround, Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham and this whole team have really come together and given us the best chance to win. We’re going to need a couple more to get the job done.”
Hight has only one career win at Maple Grove Raceway that came in 2011. However, he has won the opening event of the Countdown (previously held at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte) a total of three times, and of those three, won the championship on two occasions (2009 and 2017). Hight has been the No. 1 qualifier in Pennsylvania in both 2015 and 2017. Last year at Maple Grove, after qualifying No. 2, he lost to Force in the semifinals.
Competition at the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway begins with qualifying on Friday at 5:45 p.m. and Saturday at 1:15 and 4:45 p.m. Eliminations are scheduled to begin Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Television coverage of the event begins Friday with a qualifying show at 7 p.m. ET and another on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Eliminations will be aired Sunday at 2 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) on FOX Broadcasting Network.