Recapping local auto racing results from this weekend, John Force, one of the legendary names in drag racing, capped off three days of thunder-and-lightening racing with a funny-car victory by Robert Hight, giving the Force team its 200th career NHRA victory.
Hight’s car blazed the quarter-mile strip in 4.284 seconds at a clocked speed of 264.86 mph, defeating teammate Mike Neff, the current funny car points leader, in the finals elimination on Sunday at the NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka. Hight’s victory was the second win in consecutive years at Heartland Park for Force Racing and the team’s 14th at the popular Midwest track.
Force, a 15-time funny-car champion himself, has won 132 of his team’s record-setting 200 drag-race victories. Hight, the NHRA funny-car champion in 2009, has recorded 21 of Force’s 200 funny-car wins.
“We got lucky,” Hight said in his post-race comments. Got the win, pedaled it and in the final against Neff, I stayed with it, praying this thing would stay together."
In the two other race finals at Heartlant on Sunday, Spencer Massey won in top fuel, defeating Bob Vandergriff Jr. For Vandergriff, it was his record 14th runner-up finish in as many finals.
In Friday’s qualifying round, Tony Schumacher set a track record with a top-fuel run of 3.798 seconds at 324.12 mph. Massey’s winning speed was 312.78 mph in an elapsed time of 3.194 seconds.
Shane Gray was the victor in the pro-stock final, capturing his first win of the season.