Robert Hight left the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals with the Wally and the Funny Car points lead. The driver of the Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro left second but won thanks to the red-light start of Jack Beckman, who went red by eight-hundredths of a second.
Hight then ripped a 3.917-second lap at 329.02-mph to tighten his grip on the Funny Car points. He heads to Dallas, the fourth of six races in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs, with a 44-point lead over Beckman. He is 79 points ahead of John Force, Hight's teammate and the head of John Force Racing.
Beckman and Hight have both led the points during the NHRA Countdown to the Championship and are two of the three winners so far. The playoffs continue at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex in Dallas on Oct. 18. Hight is chasing his third championship and first since 2017, while Beckman is looking for his second Funny Car title and first since 2012.
Hight qualified in the No. 2 position and defeated Mike McIntire, Tim Wilkerson and Matt Hagan to reach the eighth final of the season. He picked up his sixth victory and turned on his 500th win light in NHRA competition. Hight holds a 500-292 round win record and a 44-15 win/loss record in the 2019 season.
Beckman, who drives the Infinite Hero Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car out of Don Schumacher Racing, qualified on the pole for the fifth time in 2019. He beat Dale Creasy Jr. and teammates Tommy Johnson Jr. and Ron Capps to reach his sixth final. Beckman dropped to 1-5 in final rounds and 35-20 in all rounds.
Capps climbed to fourth in points and sits 90 points behind Hight with three races remaining in the 2019 Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing season. He is chasing his second Funny Car world championship and first since 2016. Bob Tasca is in fifth, 143 points behind Hight after reaching the second round.