Growing up, Robert Hight had always had an aptitude for mechanics. When he was 16, he restored a Plymouth Belvedere that would serve as his transportation to Sacramento where he earned degrees in business and accounting while moonlighting at Tognotti’s Speed Shop. After college, Hight got a job working on a Top Fuel dragster driven by Del Worsham which led to an opportunity at John Force Racing. After reluctantly passing on the job, Hight got a second shot in 1995 and, this time, didn’t let it get away. He took over as the clutch technician on John Force’s Funny Car and celebrated in the winner’s circle his first weekend on the job. Force would go on to win the championship that year, the first of eight with Hight as his clutch tech.
In 2004 Hight attended Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School and subsequently became JFR’s test driver. And in 2005, Hight climbed into the cockpit of the Auto Club Funny Car has since become one of the sports’ most accomplished drivers. A winner in just his fourth professional race (the 2005 NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston, Texas), Hight has won at least once in every one of his 17 full pro seasons, has never finished outside the Top 10 and has never failed to start at least one race from the No. 1 qualifying position.
Much of his success can be traced back to his pairing with crew chief Jimmy Prock. Hight began his career with Prock back in 2005 when he won the Auto Club’s Road to the Future Award as the NHRA Rookie of the Year. The two won a championship together in 2009 and, after a brief separation, were re-united during the 2017 season.
Hight not only won the 2017 championship, sharing the podium with JFR teammate Brittany Force, who won the Top Fuel title, he also set national records at 3.793 seconds and 339.87 miles per hour, the latter not only the fastest speed in Funny Car history but the fastest in the history of the entire sport.
In the 2019, Hight dominated the Funny Car class in what ended in a career-best season. Continuing to be led by crew chiefs Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham, Hight and the Auto Club Chevy team commanded the points lead through 18 consecutive events, secured the regular season championship, powered to six wins and collected eight No. 1 qualifiers. At the Auto Club NHRA Finals, Hight ended the season on a high note, just as he started it, and took home the ultimate prize, the 2019 Funny Car world championship title.
After sitting out the 2020 season, Hight and the Auto Club Chevy Camaro SS team ended their 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series campaign in eighth adding two wins and two No. 1 qualifying positions to his resume.