By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
John Force Racing driver Robert Hight defeated Ron Capps in the final round of the season opener. Hight won the 62nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Pomona, California.
Hight went 3.861 at 329.58 mph in his Chevy Camaro. Capps went 3.882 at 333.82 mph in his Dodge Charger.
“There are a lot of really great Funny Cars that are doing the same thing and we just happened to get the win today. It’s going to be a battle,” Hight said. “Look at our qualifying run last night. Capps and I were separated by .004 of a second for No. 1 and No. 2. So you know going in the final it’s going to be a battle and it’s going to be a great run and it was .002 at the stripe. It doesn’t get any closer than that. That’s unbelievable Funny Car racing. If someone would have told me you’d see Funny Car racing like that, I’d tell them they’re crazy.
“You have to do your job and everybody on the Auto Club team did their job this weekend. We have more consistency than we had last year. I’m excited about that and with (crew chiefs) Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham they’ll just build on that and I can only see it getting better.”
In the off-season, Capps decided to leave Don Schumacher Racing after nearly two decades with the team. He announced at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show in December that he was launching his own race team.
Hight defeated Jason Rupert, Tony Jurado, and Matt Hagan to advance to the final round. Capps defeated living legend John Force, J.R. Todd, and Cruz Pedregon to compete for the Wally.
The John Force Racing driver knocked down one of his crew members before the run. No injuries were sustained.
Before this final round, Hight had a 38-35 advantage over Capps. He also held a 7-2 advantage in previous final rounds.
Capps was the No. 1 qualifier for the event. He had the quicker starting line advantage. However, both drivers traded the lead going down the track.
Hight won by 0.0021 seconds or approximately 12 inches. This is his 54th national event win.
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