Robert Hight walks away from violent crash at Pomona

Two thousand seventeen NHRA Funny Car world champion Robert Hight certainly ...

Two thousand seventeen NHRA Funny Car world champion Robert Hight certainly experienced both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows on Sunday during the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway. Coming into the day, Hight was sitting atop the championship points chase, but was hardly a lock to win with Ron Capps nipping at his heels. However, Hight would lock down the points championship after Del Worsham took out Ron Capps in round one of eliminations. Hight would race his way to the finals, but had a huge scare in the semifinal round when his engine blew in the traps and started the terrifying chain of events seen in the video below.

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As Hight’s AAA/Auto Club Camaro streaked through the finish line at 326 MPH, the engine exploded without warning. The explosion pushed the car hard to the left and kicked the composite body up away from the roll cage, meaning the parachute lever was out of Robert’s reach. Only after the car bounced off the retaining wall in the left lane and pushed the body back down was Hight able to reach the lever to toss the chute, and even then only one of them deployed.

This meant Hight had only the brakes and half of his chutes to stop his car as it barreled through the shutdown area, and there simply isn’t enough space at Pomona for that to work. The Camaro plowed into the sand trap – a first-time trip for Hight – and ended up buried in the catch net on the far end of the beach. Luckily the car remained up right, allowing Robert to quickly escape through the roof and walk away with no injuries. The car would be a loss, at least for this event, so Hight’s crew thrashed to put together his backup car for the finals, where he would come up short against Tommy Johnson Jr, who ironically enough had put his Dodge Charger into the sand in round 2 of eliminations. I can’t say with 100% certainty, but I do believe that would be the first time both finalists in Funny Car had been in the sand traps in previous rounds of the event. That will be a question for Lewis Bloom, the NHRA’s resident statistician.

We send out congrats to Hight and his AAA/Auto Club crew for their championship, as well as John Force Racing, which also won the Top Fuel world title with Brittany Force’s Monster Energy Top Fueler.

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