Hight, Brown And Line Take Arizona NHRA Titles

Round two of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series had the teams visiting the Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, AZ for the NHRA Arizona.

After two runner up finishes in the Arizona Nationals, Robert Hight captured the Funny Car victory in a tight race against teammate Mike Neff. Neff grabbed a minute lead at the tree but Hight caught up and the two crossed the finish line two hundredths of a second apart with Hight’s Auto Club Ford Mustang the winner.

Hight made up for last weekend where he qualified first at the Winternationals in Pomona, but suffered a first round defeat in Sunday’s eliminators.

“I have been to the final here (Arizona Nationals) a couple times but I never got the job done. This is big. We had some runs going over there that could have run 4.07 but they weren’t good enough to run that. Those bumps (in the left lane) were just tricky” said Hight. “Going into the final (crew chief) Jimmy (Prock) said he was going to pick it up a little more but he didn’t want to give it away. I honestly thought Neff in that right lane would run 4.07 or go low like he has been doing. That has been a tough, tough car.”

Another John Force Racing final with Neff participating in both of them has the Castrol GTX Ford Mustang driver at the top of the point standings.

“All in all, anytime you go to the final it’s a good day; especially to be leaving here with the points lead. That’s always a good thing, but still I’m frustrated with letting one slip away last week and then I feel like I let this one slip away here too. It was a good opportunity to win the race today,” said Neff. “Our car has been running great and to just have it not do what we wanted it to and shake and I had to peddle it an just barely lose it, you know, it’s frustrating. We want to win, we work hard, but on the positive side we’ve had two races with two Force cars in each of the finals. We’re definitely satisfied with that. We’re happy about it. We’re just a little frustrated that we haven’t won either of those two, but we’ll just keep on keepin’ on.”

JFR had more to cheer about as rookie Courtney Force made it into the semi-finals in only her second Funny Car event. Force qualified her Traxxas Ford Mustang in the twelfth position setting her up for the first round of eliminators against her father John Force. Courtney took the lead at the green and never looked back.

“I hate beating him (John Force). He is my dad and I have dreamed about racing him for such a long time. The fact that I can go out there against him first round was pretty amazing. I know he was trying to step it up that run to try and outrun me. I waited on him a little bit. He wasn’t going to go in to stage so I waited a little longer because I know he likes to be second. We definitely had some fun on the starting line. That was a good win for Traxxas and Ford plus Auto Club, BrandSource, Mac Tools and Castrol. I hate beating up on Dad, but that was fun,” said Force.

Round two brought Todd Lesenko and his Tap It Brewing Impala up against Courtney, but Force ran her career best 4.099 elapsed time and best 306.95 mph to move on to the semi-finals against JFR teammate Hight. Hight got Force at the lights and went on to a .0925 second margin-of-victory. Courtney’s weekend resulte keep her in sixth place in the NHRA Full Throttle Funny Car standings.

Antron Brown made the finals for the second time in two races this season and this time took the Top Fuel title, his sixteenth, beating teammate Tony Schumacher in the U.S. Army Dragster by .0231 seconds. Brown saved the best for last with his fastest run of the weekend in the Matco Tools/Aaron’s Dragster.

“When you win, it never gets old,” said Brown. “Tony’s (Schumacher) running good and (Spencer Massey’s) Prestone/FRAM team is running on mean. We have three strong cars at Don Schumacher Racing and we bow out against each other. That’s what pushes us.”

Jason Line took the Pro Stock final victory over last week’s winner Greg Anderson. Both running Summit Racing Equipment GXPs, Line reached the finish just .0113 seconds ahead of teammate Anderson.

“It feels good to get my first win (of the 2012 season) here in Phoenix,” said Line. “We’ve had one of the best cars in the class for the first two races, but weren’t able to close the deal in Pomona, so it’s great to get the job done today.”

Teammates racing each other seems to be the theme this year as two of the three pro division finals in last weekend’s Winternationals featured teammates at the line. This weekend all pro final rounds had teammates racing each other for the first time in NHRA history.

March 8th-11th the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Florida for the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by in Gainesville.

Check out for more news, results, information and upcoming events.

Unofficial final points standings
(following the NHRA Arizona Nationals)
1 Antron Brown 212
2 Tony Schumacher 180
3 Spencer Massey 176
4 Morgan Lucas 143
5 Shawn Langdon 139
6 Clay Millican 126
7 Steve Torrence 89
7 Bob Vandergriff Jr. 89
9 Brandon Bernstein 85
9 Doug Kalitta 85

1 Greg Anderson 209
2 Jason Line 208
3 Mike Edwards 147
4 Rodger Brogdon 125
5 Jeg Coughlin 122
6 Vincent Nobile 111
7 Greg Stanfield 103
8 Allen Johnson 93
9 Erica Enders 84
9 Shane Gray 84

1 Mike Neff 196
2 Robert Hight 154
3 John Force 150
4 Jack Beckman 137
5 Ron Capps 125
6 Courtney Force 124
7 Todd Lesenko 102
8 Johnny Gray 99
9 Jeff Arend 84
10 Gary Densham 83

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