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How Robert Hight can fight off seven contenders for Funny Car title

13 Nov 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Robert Hight

Robert Hight heads to his home track, Auto Club Raceway, with more round wins than any other Funny Car driver and an opportunity to win his third title. He leads Jack Beckman by 46 points and will automatically clinch a title by going the same number of rounds as the Infinite Hero driver on race day as Beckman can not pass Hight during qualifying.

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Hight can stretch his lead to two rounds during qualifying, however, which would make things even more favorable for the Auto Club Chevy Camaro team. Here are the scenarios for Hight, and the other seven Funny Car competitors as we head to the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona.

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Robert Hight

Needs 146 points to outright claim his Funny Car title, barring early exits from everyone still in contention. If he gets at least 50 points during qualifying (minimum is 48) and reaches the final, he is automatically the Funny Car champion.

Jack Beckman

Trails Hight by 46 points and can make up, at most, 23 points during qualifying and 120 on race day.

He can surpass Hight in one of two ways: Either by gaining at least 17 points on Hight during qualifying and going one round further than Hight on race day OR by making up no ground on Hight and going two rounds further than Hight on race day.

Matt Hagan

Trails Hight by 56 points and can make up, at most, 23 points during qualifying and 120 on race day.

He can surpass Hight one of two ways: If he enters race day no more than 59 points behind Hight, he must go two rounds further than Hight. If he enters race day more than 59 points behind Hight, he must go three rounds further than Hight. Hagan can’t pick up any rounds (30 points each) on Hight during qualifying, but he can drop further behind.

John Force and Bob Tasca III

Trails Hight by 72 and 104 points, respectively, and can make up, at most, 23 points during qualifying and 120 on race day.

The two racers can move within two and three rounds of Hight, respectively, based on qualifying. Force must pick up at least 13 more qualifying points than Hight to get within two rounds (60 points) while Tasca must earn 14 more than Hight to get within three rounds (90 points) when race day begins. At that point, Force must go two rounds further than Hight while Tasca must go three rounds further.

Ron Capps, J.R. Todd and Tommy Johnson Jr.

These three racers will be eliminated from title contention if Robert Hight qualifies for the Auto Club NHRA Finals. You will recall Hight nearly did not qualify in 2017, so don’t write them off just yet. If Tommy Johnson Jr. earns maximum points and things go desperately wrong for his competitors, he can still win the title.