Robert Hight and the Cornwell Tools / AAA Chevy Camaro SS team are hoping a victory at the DENSO NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, historically one of their favorite tracks, will give them a points and confidence boost with the NHRA Countdown to the Championship fast approaching.
Hight has attended all 34 races contested at Sonoma as either a spectator, a crew member or a driver. Growing up, it was the closest track to his home in Alturas, Calif. He has driven his Jimmy Prock-tuned Cornwell Tools Chevy to victory in three of his last four appearances (2018, 2019 and 2021). In addition to his three most recent victories, Hight also won at Sonoma in 2008 and started from the No. 1 qualifying position in 2006, 2017, 2019 and 2022. He is the track record holder for time and speed at 3.807 seconds and 339.87 miles per hour, both set on July 28, 2017. The speed mark is also the official NHRA national Funny Car record. As the No. 1 qualifier last year, he advanced to the semifinals.
“I’m excited to be back in Northern California, this is my home track; I grew up coming here. I’ve never missed this national event,” Hight said. “I think this Cornwell Tools team is due for a win. We’ve struggled a bit and had some bad luck, but I know this team; we know how to win. We keep putting in the work, and it will pay off. Hopefully, it’s this weekend, and we can break back into the top three in points. The Countdown is coming, and we want to be in a strong position to start the battle for another championship.”
Bidding this year to become just the fourth driver to win as many as four NHRA Funny Car championships (after John Force, Kenny Bernstein and Don Prudhomme), Hight is fourth in Camping World points on the strength of wins at the Arizona Nationals and Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte. His wins and a pair of No. 1 starts in Chicago and Bristol enabled Hight to extend to 18 the number of years in which he has won a race and started a race from the No. 1 spot. That’s every year he has contested the championship.
The DENSO NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway starts with qualifying Friday at 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. and Saturday at 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. Eliminations will begin Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Television coverage of the event begins with two qualifying shows Saturday at 12:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). Eliminations will be on FOX Broadcasting Network Sunday at 4:00 p.m. ET.