By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
As Robert Hight was going rounds, the 2019 Funny Car Championship inched closer. When he went into the final round, Hight knew it was going to be very difficult to close the Championship.
Hight basically won the Championship in the semi-final. Hight defeated Matt Hagan in the semifinal. Hight went 3.977 at 324.59 mph to win, while Hagan went 4.015 at 326.95 mph.
Then, he knew when he faced Jack Beckman in the final round at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Pomona, California, he just need a clean pass to hold onto the win.
He did a burnout that went nearly all the way down the track. Hight said in his Championship interview that he did not know why the car shut off.
Either way, the Championship was won. And it was Hight’s third Championship in his career. Besides Sunday’s Championship, he also won in 2009 and 2017.
“I have no idea,” Hight said about the burnout. “I did not shut the car off, because it’s actually dangerous leaving a car out there. I wanted to do a big burnout for the fans. I told Jimmy to start the car first and I wanted to do a big old burnout and I was going to backup fast so I could not hold Beckman up. As I was backing up, it dies. I have no idea what happened.”
Hight now ties the late Raymond Beadle with three Funny Car Championships. He also joins Pro Stock Motorcycle riders Matt Smith, Angelle Sampey, Matt Hines, John Myers; Pro Stock’s Jason Line, Darrell Alderman, along with Top Fuel’s Antron Brown, Larry Dixon, Don Garlits, and Shirley Muldowney.
“It’s unbelievable,” Hight said. “I’ve always dreamed in the Countdown era about winning a championship from start to finish. Being good all year, because I’ve had spurts in the past, where you’re good in the beginning and then you fail at the end, or vice versa. We’ve been good all year long. Basically, all but one race we led the points. That’s a tribute to the guys behind me. They’re unbelievable.”