Robert Hight rockets to the top of the NHRA Sonoma Nationals Funny Car sheet in Auto Club Chevy Camaro
Robert Hight wrote a new chapter in his book of domination at Sonoma Raceway. He went 3.858-second at 334.65-mph to capture the provisional pole in his Auto Club Chevy Camaro Funny Car to lead the way alongside crew chief Jimmy Prock at the second stop on the Western Swing.
Hight set the national speed record in Sonoma in 2017 and is the defending event winner at Sonoma Raceway. He is also the points leader and a two-time Funny Car world champion, winning the world title most recently in 2017.
"You know you're always in for a treat when you come to Sonoma Raceway because of the great atmospheric conditions," said Hight. "We can always throw down here with the great conditions. This place holds the speed record for a reason. Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham did a great job and if this holds up it'll be the eighth No. 1 qualifier of the season, so we really love these good conditions."
Shawn Langdon reset his career best elapsed time by making a 3.875-second pass at 329.99-mph. That moved the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry racer to the No. 2 spot and earned him a pair of bonus points. He is chasing his best-ever qualifying position in a Funny Car after moving to the short wheelbase category last season. He earned his first win earlier in 2019.
Jack Beckman got his NHRA Sonoma Nationals experience off to a hot start, earning three bonus points in the first qualifying session. The Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat driver laid down a 3.951-second pass at 321.96 to lead the sheet in the first session. He followed that up with a 3.879 to earn another bonus point.
Blake Alexander, the defending event winner in Top Fuel, set his personal best in a Funny Car in the second session. The Pronto Auto Services Ford Mustang went 3.94-seconds at 297.35-mph, showing the car lost power before it hit the 1,000-foot mark. That won’t disappoint the two-time Top Fuel winner too much as he seeks to get his first win since hoisting a wine glass in the winner’s circle at Sonoma Raceway in 2018.
The top nine racers are all in the 3-second range, beginning with NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car driver Ron Capps. He made a 3.96-second pass at 321.19-mph. The San Luis Obispo native and Rahn Tobler have performed very well at Sonoma over the years and are chasing another win in 2019.
Salinas, California native Jeff Diehl sits at the bottom of the qualifying sheet with a 5.332-second pass, just behind another California-born driver, Cruz Pedregon. Those are the only two drivers who have not fought their way into the 4-second zone or better. They will get another two opportunities to do so when qualifying begins at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at 1:15 p.m. Pacific Saturday. You can catch all the action live on NHRA.tv.