An Interview with Robert Hight, President of John Force Racing an
How do you feel about your position now in the Countdown points race heading into Sonoma?
Definitely it’s good moving up to 2nd but getting to 1st is going to be a tall order with Neff having such a huge points lead. If we could’ve gone on and won another round last weekend it would’ve helped. The only shot we’re going to have is to win 2 or 3 more races before the countdown starts because, to be honest, that’s still what I’d like to do. That 30 point advantage is big from the number 1 to number 2 spot. Still, it was a big win for our team with John Force getting his first win of the year. Maybe that broke him out of the slump he’s been in, and it marks the 6th straight Funny Car win for JFR so that says a lot. He’s the only guy now with a chance to sweep the Western Swing and he’s the only driver who’s ever done it before, so don’t think that isn’t a possibility.
Sonoma is a really special place to me, the place I always went for holidays when I was in high school and college. It’s close enough to home that there’ll be a lot of family and friends there to root me on and it’s nice to show them the places I used to go and things I used to do and then get right back into racing.
There’s been talk about how you had a bit of a motivational talk with John last weekend. Do you think it made a difference?
He’s the best motivator I’ve ever seen, so for him to say I motivated him, that means a lot. I just tried to tell him to focus. He’s always got so much to do – he’s trying to keep everybody happy, wanting everything to be perfect , I just told him “ when it’s time to race, none of that stuff matters. There’s nothing you can do to make the other stuff better right now, so you need to focus on this race”.
You know, Neff and I aren’t usually worried about road shows and all those other things John has right now and I think he maybe thought about that a bit and realized we might just be right. But really, I’m not going to take any credit. I don’t think I can teach him anything. I still have a lot to learn from him, the owner who’s won 132 races.
Speaking of focus, in the middle of a very competitive season how does your role as President of JFR affect your outlook and efforts?
To be honest, in the first couple of years I couldn’t have taken on any more duties. It was full-time focus for me just to learn how to drive one of these things and get proficient at it. Now it’s getting a little easier. I’m not saying that I’ve “ got it “ or that I’ve learned everything, but it does free me up just a little bit to do other things, maybe take a little of the load off John and also prove to John that I can do more than just drive and work on these cars. Hopefully he’ll see what I can do and that this is going to continue for years to come. That’s my goal – to show him I can continue on forever and help him. http://motorsportsunplugged.com/NHRA/?p=1424