Robert Hight rides a Zamboni into drag racing’s season finale

Robert Hight Ontario Reign MayorsManor CalkinsRobert Hight is used to going 320 miles per hour in about four seconds.

Yet, prior to kicking off the NHRA’s season finale in Pomona this weekend, he stopped by the Ontario Reign game Wednesday night to drop the first puck and take a lap around the rink on a Zamboni.

“A few years back I was lucky enough to drop the puck at a Dallas Stars game. But, I didn’t get to ride on the Zamboni back then,” the 2009 World Champion said. “It’s totally different than my funny car!”

That’s an understatement to say the least. Top speed on that over-sized ice scraper was about 10 mph.

“They put studs on those tires though. And I remember doing that when I was about five years old,” Hight started to recall. “My grandfather told me he was going the next day to get his tires studded – because I lived up (in Altura, CA) where it snowed and there was a lot of ice and stuff.  My brother and I didn’t really understand what he was talking about.  So, he told us it was like putting nails in your tires.”

If you’re a parent reading this – or had a ‘fun’ childhood – you probably know what’s coming next.

“We decided we were going to save him a little money,” Hight continued. “He didn’t tell my dad though. So, my dad was looking around asking, ‘How come all the tires are flat on this truck?’ He finally told my dad and he was like – well, he was mad (lots of laughter). But we were just trying to help.”

These days, Hight spends his time trying to help John Force Racing win NHRA national events and capture championships. Led by owner and founder, John Force (who also happens to be Hight’s father-in-law), the team has collected a staggering 17 championships in the last 22 years.

This season, all four of the JFR funny cars will finish in the top ten in points. However, a championship probably isn’t in the cards. Driver Mike Neff is mathematically still alive, sitting in third place at the moment, but it would take a miracle.

“He still has a shot. It’s a long-shot,” said Hight.  “But, we’re going into the weekend with the attitude that he still has a shot.”

Neff tuned the boss to the team’s last title back in 2010. He now drives and tunes John’s car while John’s daughter Ashley is away having babies. John drives her car while she’s on leave.

Oh, and they fourth team car is driven by Courtney Force, another of John’s four daughters.

It’s a family affair. You’re following all of this, right?

With just one race remaining on the 2012 NHRA Drag Racing schedule, John and Robert are tied for seventh place in the standings.

Robert Hight Ontario Reign MayorsManor by Calkins“It’s really strange, thinking about where we are at this time of year,” Hight remarked. “We ran really good earlier in the year and won some races. Then, we just kinda fell flat after winning four races in a row.”

Hight’s tuner, Jimmy Prock, is a big hockey fan, having grown up in Detroit.  However, he wasn’t able to join his driver at the Reign game Wednesday night.  Instead, Prock chose to stay behind and focus on preparing their race car for today’s first qualifying session.

“It’s the last race of the year and it sets the tone for the whole winter. So, we need to go out with a bang,” Hight proclaimed.

Regardless of the outcome this weekend, Hight and all of Team Force never seem to slow down. They’re headed to Las Vegas next weekend to begin testing for next season.

“When you don’t win the championship, it’s back to work on Monday,” he said.

“We’re always talking about things, whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas, we’re talking about how we’re going to win next year and what we’re going to do to get back on top. We always sneak away and talk racing and let the girls enjoy the holidays.”

RELATED ARTICLES:

Courtney Force – she knows all about fast moving sports - interview at Kings game

Exclusive photos from Ontario Reign crazy comeback with vs San Francisco Bulls

Ontario Reign President Justin Kemp on the MayorsManor show

Recent Articles

Scuderi Stoll

Puck Probability: Odds for Kings at Penguins, October 30

It’s nearly time for stop two of the Kings four games in six nights stretch, with Darryl Sutter’s squad preparing to face the Penguins in Pittsburgh. Continuing a series we’ve done throughout the early part of this season, we’re back with 10 all new tidbits related to the game. As usual, MayorsManor has come up [...]

Sutter-Penguins

Things You May Not Know: Kings-Penguins edition

After a rather weird ending to their game in Philadelphia, the Kings have traveled across Pennsylvania to take on the Penguins on Thursday night. Get started on your game prep early with a few tidbits that will make you sound smart while watching the action on TV or live in person… Five Things You May Not Have Known [...]

Zykkov Kings by Zampelli

Blake and Murray on MM rankings and Kings top prospects

As we try to do every year after posting the MayorsManor rankings of the top 10 prospects in the Kings organization, we attempt to loop back with several people in Dean Lombardi’s inner circle for some additional feedback on a few of the key players mentioned. Last week, Kings assistant GM Rob Blake talked at [...]

Major News Items

Manchester Monarchs MayorsManor Kings by Blake Gumprecht

MAJOR NEWS: Kings Preparing To Move Top Prospects To SoCal

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com Follow @mayorNHL In a story that MayorsManor has been chasing for the … [Read More...]

More Prospect News