The “Hight” of Domination 

The truly dominating start of the 2012 season continued for Funny Car racer Robert Hight as he scored his fourth win in five races winning last weekend’s NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway in North Carolina……

Spencer Massey in Top Fuel and Greg Anderson in Pro Stock also secured wins at the fifth race of 2012 in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

Auto Club Ford Mustang driver, Hight, becomes just the fifth Funny Car racer to win four consecutive events in NHRA history and joins the ranks of Don Prudhomme, Kenny Bernstein, his team owner John Force and Cruz Pedregon, who he defeated in the finals, to accomplish the feat. Hight used a reaction time of .058 seconds at the start of his 4.076 second pass at 314.83 mph to secure his 27th career win.

Robert Hight continued his unreal season domination of NHRA Fuel FC racing at Concord

“This is unbelievable. This class is so tough. Racing those three guys in the final, Cruz, Capps, Force, those guys are all hall of famers. They’re definitely guys that I grew up watching, and they all have more wins than me, so just to be out there racing those guys and to actually beat them is unbelievable,” said Hight. “To win one of these races is tough, and to have four in a row, it’s stuff that you don’t even dream about. I don’t see why we got to stop here, right? That was a 40-point swing for us in the final. That’s gaining 40 points on everybody but the runner-up. That’s big time. I want to keep this going. It’s not that easy to win out here, so you don’t want to give this up. You may never win another one.”

Massey is also enjoying a strong start to the season as he notched his third win of the early season.  Massey and his Fram/Prestone dragster, has yet to lose in a final round appearance this year and his 3.802 second pass at 332.18 was able to defeat his Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher in the U. S. Army Top Fuel dragster. Massey also set the national speed record with his speed of 332.18 mph and he takes over the points lead from teammate Antron Brown. 

Spencer Massey (far lane) ran a stupendous 332.18 mph (to 1000') while winning the final TF grouping.

“It’s unbelievable. Starting out running 328 mph in qualifying and then coming up this morning and blistering a 330 and then just trying to go down the racetrack in the final and running 332; we were just trying to go A to B and make them beat us. When I went across the finish line I didn’t know who won until I made the turnoff and it wasn’t until they were giving me the trophy that they told me I’d run 332 mph. That’s unreal. It just shows you how awesome this Prestone and Fram team of Phil Shuler and Todd Okuhara is running,” stated Massey. “The car always pulls hard on every run, and on that 332 it never let up. It pulled as hard at the finish line as it did at 330 feet. You know you’re on a good run when it does that. You just have to be focused on the starting line and have your head in the game. It’ll show you which driver knows what’s going on at the Four-Wide Nationals. I love it.”

This was the second NHRA Four-Wide Nationals win for Anderson who calls Charlotte home for himself and his race team. The driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GXP held off a hard charging Erica Enders in her GK Racing Chevy Cobalt. Enders is working to become the first female winner in the NHRA Pro Stock category. The 6.540 second pass at 212.23 powered him to his 72nd career win and adds to his points lead in the category.

“I am off to a good start this year. I’ve been in three finals, and leading the points. I have a great race car and Jason has a great race car. TheSummitteam is on fire. These are two of the very best cars we’ve had,” saidAnderson. “When you’re racing four wide, you always feel like an underdog. Even if you have the fastest car, you have guys who cut 00 lights every time and let’s face it; I’m not one of those guys. I’ve complained about this [four-wide] concept but I guess it’s time to embrace it.”

Homestate racer Greg Anderson celebrated his 72nd career NHRA Pro Stock win

Event Essentials – NHRA 4-Wide Nationals Concord NC (Apr. 13-15th, 2012)

TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Spencer Massey 3.802 332.18 9th
R/UP: Tony Schumacher 3.833 320.81  
Low ET: Tony Schumacher 3.753    
Top Speed: Spencer Massey   332.18  
Bump Spot:   3.984    
FUNNY CAR Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Robert Hight 4.076 314.83 27th
R/UP: Cruz Pedregon 4.070 316.75  
Low ET: Robert Hight 4.014    
Top Speed: Robert Hight   320.81  
Bump Spot:   4.205    
PRO STOCK Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Greg Anderson 6.540 212.23 72nd
R/UP: Erica Enders 6.608 210.93  
Low ET: Jason Line 6.493    
Top Speed: Jason Line   213.91  
Bump Spot:   6.587    
ProCare RX PRO MOD Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Mike Castellana 6.250 180.45 3rd
R/UP: Leah Pruett NTR NSR Broke
Low ET: Danny Rowe 5.874    
Top Speed: Leah Pruett   251.81  
Bump Spot:   6.676    
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Winners: Name ET MPH  
Top Alcohol Dragster Bill Reichert 5.317 264.23  
Top Alcohol Funny Car Andy Bohl 5.614 261.47  
Competition Russell Joly 8.314 115.49  
Super Stock Mike Volkman 10.35 116.85  
Stock Joe Lisa 10.74 120.81  
Super Comp Michelle Furr 8.896 167.99  
Super Gas Iggie Boicesco 9.905 168.62  
Top Sportsman Tim Molnar 11.88 110.25  


“Iron Mike” Takes Pro Mod Challenge

New York’s Mike Castellana collected his third career NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series ProCare Rx victory at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. 

Mike Castellana clobbered the ProCare RX Pro Mod field driving his awesome '12 Camaro

Driving the Al-Anabi-sponsored 2012 Chevy Camaro, Mike made a single pass during the final round after his competitor was unable to make it to the starting line.  Castellana was scheduled to face Leah Pruett in the highly feared R2B2 Racing “ Mustang Sally” turbo car  but Leah’s car  suffered extreme engine damage in the semi-final round and her team wasn’t able to complete repairs  in time. 

Castellana ran his nitrous-injected car to a cruising 6.250 secs at 180.45 to take the final round win.

It was the second consecutive final round appearance for Castellana who was defeated in Gainesville by Rickie Smith. Castellana faced Smith in the quarterfinals during eliminations on Sunday and was able to avenge his loss at the prior event.

Castellana also defeated Chip King, and the No. 1 qualifier of Danny Rowe (5.874 secs) en route to the finals. With the win Castellana takes over the point lead from Smith.

Pro Mod runner-up Pruett was credited with top speed of the event at 251.81 mph.

Sportsman Racing Summary

Bill Reichert and Andrew Bohl each scored their first wins of 2012 during the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals.   

Former NHRA Lucas Oil National Champion Reichert, Owosso, Mich., qualified No. 1 in Top Alcohol Dragster with the quickest time of the event at 5.148 seconds, 274.05 mph then faced off with Doug Foley in the final round.  The win was Reichert 25th NHRA national event win as he posted a 5.317 second pass at 264.23 mph.  Foley,Statesville,N.C., left first but lost traction as Reichert shot by for the win.

TAD Winner - Bill Reichert

Bohl, from Racine,Wis., came from the No. 6 qualifying position to advance to the final round in Top Alcohol Funny Car against Don Pomponio out of Berlin,N.J.  Pomponio was first off the line but Bohl ran him down before half-track to take the win in 5.614 seconds at 261.47 mph to Pomponio’s 5.721, 245.14. 

Round one saw probably the biggest upsets of the event when Mark Rogers, driving the Canadian-based Kardiac Kids Pontiac Firebird, took out defending funny car champion Frank Manzo with a pass of 5.835, 249.86 mph.  Manzo’s car shook a bit off the line which was all Rogers needed to speed away from Manzo for the win.       

Stock Eliminator saw the first ever 8-second pass during Friday’s qualifying session when Don Fezell went 8.95 seconds in his Cobra Jet Mustang at 153 mph.  But it was Joe Lisa,Vernon,N.J., with the biggest run of his life taking on veteran racer Dan Fletcher,Churchville,N.Y., in the final round.  Lisa left first and ran four-thousandths off his dial to defeat Fletcher, earning his first national event win of his career.

Don Fezell made history with the first ever 8-second run recorded in Stock eliminator history (8.954 secs)

Comp Eliminator also had a first time winner as Russell Joly put his Chevy Cobalt in the winner’s circle in 8.314 seconds at 115.49 mph over Tony Terry.       

Michael Volkman, Moon,Pa., beat reigning Super Stock Champion Joe Santangelo while former champion Iggie Boicesco,Warminster,Pa., won in Super Gas over Frank Altilio.  Volkman drove his ‘00 Sebring to a 116. 85 mph lap and Boicesco went 168.62 in his ’02 Corvette.

Long time Mopar brand proponent Mike Volkman won his first NHRA event - taking Super Stock eliminator.

The Top Sportsman trophy went to Tim Molnar of Seville, Ohio, taking out Alan Prusiensky for his first national win and Michelle Furr, Galax, Va., made it two in a row in Charlotte beating Lauren Freer in Super Comp.  Furr won here last Fall as well.

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to action on April 27-29 at Royal Purple Raceway in Houston.

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler  

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