Robert Hight made a statement run at the first of three races sponsored by the company that sponsors his Chevy Camaro Funny Car.
The 2017 world champion ran a 3.877-second pass at 334.9-mph to go to the top of the Funny Car field, beating out Bob Tasca III and John Force by more than two-hundredths of a second. That puts Hight in a great position with a pair of qualifying sessions remaining at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis.
Tasca ran a 3.904 and Force, who owns the team Hight drives for, made a 3.911-second lap. Force has advanced to back-to-back final rounds and enters the event in second place. He fell to Jack Beckman, who enters St. Louis in first place, in the Reading final.
Hight is chasing his first victory since the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in July, five races ago. He has held the lead in Funny Car since winning the first race of the season, the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, in February. He finished as the runner-up in the chase for the 2018 Funny Car world championship to J.R. Todd and enters St. Louis in third place.
Beckman ran a 3.916 to slot into the No. 4 spot as the quickest Don Schumacher Racing Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. He ran .005-second quicker than Matt Hagan and .019-second quicker than Tommy Johnson. All three Chargers stacked up sequentially in the run order. Jonnie Lindberg, an independent runner tuned by Jim Head, found his way into the No. 7 spot.
Terry Haddock is on the bump spot with a 4.232. He’s holding off Dale Creasy and Jack Wyatt. Creasy is .026-second behind the Texan Funny Car racer.
There will be two more qualifying sessions on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. Central. Race day is set for Sunday at 11 a.m. Central.