JOLIET, Ill. (May 19, 2023) – Debuting his Cornwell Tools / AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car paint scheme, Robert Hight would be the provisional No. 1 qualifier Friday at the Gerber Glass & Collision NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway. John Force landed in the No. 4 spot with the BlueDEF PLATINUM / PEAK Chevy Camaro SS. In Top Fuel, Austin Prock and the Montana Brand dragster earned the No. 3 spot while Brittany Force with the Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy team are No. 19.
Looking for his first No.1. of the season, 78th of his career, Robert Hight and the Cornwell Tools team made a splash in the NHRA return to Route 66 Raceway. Hight would hold on for a stellar 3.831-second pass at 335.07 mph to set both ends of the track record, which he previously set back in 2017.
“That run surprised me. Going up there, Jimmy and Thomas Prock, we were talking about trying to run 3.87 or 3.88 which is what we just ran in the finals at Charlotte. We figured that would be a good baseline to get us qualified and start the weekend,” Hight said. “Jimmy kept saying in Charlotte, that there was so much more left in this thing that we could pick up three hundredths. Sure enough, it did. It was just a smooth run and when they’re smooth like that they honestly don’t feel that fast. When they told me on the radio that it ran 3.83, I had to double-check that I actually heard that right. It’s amazing to come back to a race track that we haven’t raced on in this many years and to just pick up and run like that. It’s pretty impressive. It really goes out to the NHRA, you know, for whipping this place into shape and getting it ready for the fans and us to race on.”
This is the first of 11 races that Hight will be running the Cornwell Tools primary sponsorship on his Chevy Camaro.
“Doing that in the Cornwell Tools Chevy really made this special, because I think there was about 15 Cornwell people back there in the sponsor viewing,” Hight said. “They’ve just been so excited about this, and after Charlotte I got to go to Cornwell and visit their two factories that they have and I just met so many great people that are out in the middle of America. Just hard working, they really care about what they’re doing and the products they’re making. It’s pretty impressive. It makes me really want to do a good job for them and work hard for them because all of those folks work hard and love what they do.”
Most recent Top Fuel winner, Austin Prock and the Montana Brand team had a solid pass to open qualifying at Route 66 Raceway. Prock handled his Chevrolet dragster to a 3.694-second pass at 331.20 mph to land in the No. 2 spot and pick up two qualifying bonus points.
John Force and the BlueDEF Chevy had tire smoke just past midtrack on their first attempt down Route 66 Raceway. Force would manage a 4.442-second pass at 192 mph and end up in the No. 4 spot. The BlueDEF / PEAK Chevy has a specialty look this weekend dawning the names of all the Old World Industries’ (OWI), PEAK and BlueDEF’s parent company, employee names to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac team had trouble at the hit shutting off almost immediately to coast across the finish line at 8.067-seconds and 78.10 mph to end the night sitting in the No. 19 spot with two qualifying runs left to work their way up.
The Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway continues with qualifying Saturday at 2:00 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday eliminations are set to begin at 11:00 a.m. Television coverage will be aired on Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). Sunday eliminations are slated to begin on Sunday at 10:00 p.m. ET on FS1.