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BY CHRIS MARTIN • Photos by Jeff Burk
FEBRUARY 7, 2005

uite by accident and en route to the first Las Vegas test sessions, DRO-meisters Jeff Burk and Darr Hawthorne related to me that a Robert Hight had filled the position on the John Force Funny Car team once occupied by Gary Densham. Robert Hight?

I had a friend named Bob Hite, who (not to drop names) was the lead singer of the famed hippie era white blues band Canned Heat, although that Hite was better known as “the Bear.” He’s been dead for nearly a quarter of century and knowing Force like I do, the 320-
pound wrecking crew would’ve never made the cut. Not only would he have drunken all the team beer ON THE WAY to the race, he’d have eaten all the ice, drank all the cold water, and finally done in the Styrofoam cooler as well. Different era, different guy, different deal. Still, the Robert Hight name didn’t quite call up a face.

Robert Hight is a guy most any Force fans have seen dozens of time. He’s a 10-year veteran of the crew and in a lot of ways just like current second-year shoe, Eric Medlen. When you see them in their firesuits for the first time, you go “Oh, THAT’s Eric Medlen (or in this case, Robert Hight).” I know I did and I’ve been in their camp many, many times. In fact, I was kinda embarrassed when I found out that this Robert Hight guy was "THAT Robert Hight.” I had just known him as Robert for years, never picked up on the last name or was too discombobulated to remember it. Same deal as with Medlen. I missed the tests last year and didn’t even know that good old “Eric” was John Medlen’s son. Geezus, you talk about a no-reporting son-of-a-bitch. It’s time for a visit to the Betty Ford Journalism Rehab Center.

Anyway, how’d he do? 330-mph in testing, only one of five guys to do go that fast in a Funny car. John, Whit Bazemore, Gary Scelzi, and Tony Pedregon. Hot stuff baby, tonight. .
And by the way, if you didn’t know it already, he is Mr. Adria Force …or, uh, she’s Mrs. Robert Hight. Yep, Robert Hight is the boss’ son-in-law, a team member who’s the best bet to have a very long run with Team Force.

And with that, here’s DRO's sit-down with him at Las Vegas.

Robert, let’s get the vital stats out of the way. How old are you? Where were you born? How did you manage to hook up with drag racing’s Elvis? A little on your previous racing experience.

Hight: I’m 35 and was born in Alturus, California which is close to the Oregon border. My first actual crew job was with Tommy Johnson Jr. in Top Fuel in 1994, and then the next year I went Top Fuel again with Roger Primm, the same guy who has the town named after him in near the Nevada border with California.

And Force?

Hight: When I was working with Primm, John Cox, one of the crew guys, knew Bernie Fedderly and made the introduction. I’d never met John up to that time. But as you can guess, I knew who Bernie was and said, something like, ‘one day, I’d love to work on Force’s team.’ And, in so many words, he said, maybe we can talk and see what happens. It worked out really well and I got a chance to meet the team for an interview.

In John’s system, you first have to go through Austin [Coil] and Bernie, which makes a lot of sense. They check me out mechanically, and certainly they’d be able to say whether I had any potential or not. If I pass through them they shoot me up to the boss.


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