Robert Hight and the Cornwell Tools / AAA Chevrolet Camaro SS won the Pep Boys NHRA All-Star Callout Funny Car specialty race Sunday at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park while also securing the No. 1 qualifying position. Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac / Monster Energy dragster team secured the No. 2 qualifying positions while John Force and the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevy Camaro SS and Austin Prock in the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist dragster were both No. 11 in their respective categories.
In his 11th All-Star Callout type event at the U.S. Nationals, Robert Hight picked up his first victory in his fifth final-round appearance. He also became the fifth different John Force Racing driver to win the long-running bonus event at the U.S. Nationals and picked up the 12th overall victory for JFR drivers at an Indy bonus race.
In the first round of the All-Star Callout, Hight, as the top seed, called out reigning world champion Ron Capps. Hight would get the better of Capps with a 3.935-second pass at 324.44 mph to send Capps’ 4.004 at 322.65 packing.
In the semifinals, Hight, who had the quickest elapsed time in the first round and therefore had the opportunity to pick his next opponent, chose to challenge Cruz Pedregon. Hight would have the starting line advantage and never trailed crossing the finish line with a 3.997-second pass at 314.97 mph to Pedregon’s 4.004 at 322.65.
The win set Hight up with a final match-up against rival Matt Hagan, who he lost to in the semis last year. With a 3.955-second pass at 321.58 mph, Hight would take the victory bettering Hagan’s 3.979 at 322.58.
“It’s amazing to get this,” Hight said. “Hagan really stepped up in the final round. This Cornwell Tools team, we made the right decisions today, picking Capps and then Cruz. If we had picked Hagan first round, which we thought about, looking at it now, he would have beat us. We went out and got the job done today. There’s been a lot of double-ups at this race and I’d like to add my name to it. You’ve got to win on Sunday first to even have a chance.”
Hight and the Cornwell Tools Chevy earned their fourth No. 1 of the season, second at the U.S. Nationals and the 81st of his career with his 3.853-second pass at 329.67 mph from Saturday. He’ll lineup against Paul Lee in the first round as he attempts to become the third JFR driver to win both the bonus All-Star Callout race and the U.S. Nationals in the same weekend.
“I really want to win this race tomorrow, too. What a great job this team has been doing. We’ve been really picking away at this thing and analyzing every little detail. All the guys working on the car, they do such a great job. They’re trying to make this racecar run really nice. We were quickest for three sessions and second quickest the other two, it’s looking good,” Hight said. “Really have to say thank you to Cornwell Tools, Chevy, Auto Club, what a good day, what a good day, man. Now its time to get it done tomorrow.”
Brittany Force and the Flav-R-Pac team maintained their No. 2 qualifying position from their Friday evening 3.709-second pass at 333.25 mph. They maintained their performance through four of the five qualifying rounds finishing up day three with a solid 3.798 pass at 330.39 in the fourth session before smoking the tires in their last try down Indianapolis Raceway Park for a
“We’d love to get the win here at the U.S. Nationals. We’ve been successful in the past with two runner-up finishes. To make four solid qualifying runs out of five is pretty great for this Flav-R-Pac/Monster Energy team. We’re excited about that,” Force said. “We qualified No. 2 and face Antron Brown in the first round. We’re going to have to make sure we stay on exactly what we’ve been doing all weekend long. We want to get that first-round win and go all day.”
Coming off a win in the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday, John Force and the PEAK Chevy team started the day with a first-round match-up in the Pep Boys All-Star Callout against longtime rival Bob Tasca. Both veteran racers would lose traction with Force coasting to a 6.770-second pass at 94.75 mph and getting the win over Tasca who crawled to a 6.905 at 94.68. In the semifinals, Force had a close race against Matt Hagan but came up short with a 3.991 at 322.96 to Hagan’s 3.982 at 323.89.
In final qualifying, Force handled the PEAK Chevy to a 3.961 at 326.48 and moved up to the No. 11 spot. He’ll take on Cruz Pedregon for the 120th time. Force owns an 80-39 advantage overall and is 5-1 to Pedregon in the U.S. Nationals.
“I gave that semifinal away. My car ran better, I’m just trying to beat these kids so I’m jumping in on that tree, and I gave it away. I owe Daniel Hood and Tim Fabrisi, my crew chiefs,” Force said. “But I’m excited for Robert. He’s got one of the best race cars out here. I’m excited to see him win, for him to have his daughter Autumn here to see it. That’s exciting for all of John Force Racing and our partners, Cornwell Tools, Chevy, Auto Club. Anyways, I’m in, this PEAK Chevy is in and I’m ready to race the U.S. Nationals, let’s get it on.”
Austin Prock and the Montana Brand team will start race day from the No. 11 spot thanks to their 3.781-second pass at 326.08 mph on Friday evening. Prock closed out qualifying on Sunday with solid 3.830 run at 322.04. In the final session, the Montana Brand dragster lost traction to go only 4.334 at 191.27. Prock will race against Leah Pruett in the first round.
“Tough start to our U.S. Nationals weekend. We will be rolling into Monday sitting 11th, but none of it matters until tomorrow. It’s doesn’t matter where you are on the ladder, as long as you’re on it,” Prock said. “I’m confident in this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team. They’ll give me a competitive car and hopefully we can make some magic happen.”
Competition at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park continues eliminations on Memorial Day Monday at 10 a.m. Television coverage of the event continues Monday with a show at noon ET on FS1 and a second show at 2 p.m. ET on FOX Broadcasting Network.