Team Chevy takes momentum to Phoenix

CHEVROLET AT PHOENIX

What: NHRA Arizona Nationals
When: Friday, Feb. 25-Sunday, Feb. 27
Where: Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona
TV: FS1 will telecast taped eliminations at 7 p.m. ET Sunday, Feb.27

Team Chevy ready to run fast at Wild Horse Pass
Momentum from Funny Car, Pro Stock wins and Top Fuel runner-up carry over

DETROIT (Feb. 24, 2022) – Inconsistency, acknowledges Robert Hight, was the main culprit preventing the three-time NHRA Funny Car champion and the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS from contending for the 2021 title.

“That wasn’t a lot of fun last year,” he said. “Since Jimmy (Prock) came back, we’ve been in the thick of things every year. Won two championships, set records. But the guys stayed focused, worked really hard and looked at what bit us last year.”
After qualifying No. 2 in the season opener at Pomona, California, Hight laid down runs of 3.890, 3.893, 3.861 and 3.861 seconds in winning for the 54th time in his Funny Car career. It was the 147th Funny Car victory for Chevrolet, including 67 with the Camaro model and 20 by Hight, since 1967.

“If you look at our runs in testing and our runs here, I think they’ve found it,” he added. “We have to work race by race, run by run. This is a long road to win this championship. It’s not going to be easy. We’re up for the task. We on a mission, we’re focused and we’re going to do the best we can.”

Hight and rest of the Chevrolet contingent turn their attention to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix for the NHRA Arizona Nationals. The event was not held in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hight’s teammate at John Force Racing, Austin Prock, also found consistency in the Montana Brands/Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet dragster. Qualifying fourth, Prock was the runner-up in the Winternationals for the second time in three appearances. After racing to the NHRA rookie of the year award in 2019, Prock competed in only three races the past two seasons.

His season debut was just about all that he could ask for. “This is my dream to drive this race car, and to be back and doing what I love again, it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

Brittany Force, driving the Monster Energy Chevrolet dragster, claimed the top qualifier honor at Pomona. It was the 11th No. 1 in the past 14 races for Force, who owns both ends of the Wild Horse Pass track records for Top Fuel (3.643 seconds and 337.92 mph, both set in February 2020).

Four-time Pro Stock champion Erica Enders dominated the opening weekend, riding the No. 1 qualifying spot to victory in the Melling Performance Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Coming up short a semifinal matchup with Enders, reigning and five-time Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson, driving the HendrickCars.com Camaro SS, will seek his 100th career victory. She won the 2020 race at Wild Horse Pass. Chevrolet has recorded 348 wins, including 229 with the Camaro model, in 900 Pro Stock races since 1970.

FS1 will telecast taped eliminations at 7 p.m. ET Sunday, Feb. 27.

CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT
TOP FUEL
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY/FLAV-R-PAC CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (No. 1 qualifier and semifinalist at opener): “This team is off to a great start. We ran well during qualifying, got the No. 1qualifier, and made a semifinal-round appearance. We have a great team around us with David Grubnic, Mac Savage, and all our guys with two new additions.”

AUSTIN PROCK, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONTANA BRAND/ROCKY MOUNTAIN TWIST CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (No. 4 qualifier and runner-up at opener): “Great start to the year. This team got put together about three to four weeks ago, and I thought we did an excellent job this past weekend. It’s going to be a long, fun year, and I’m really looking forward to it. This is my dream to drive this race car, and to be back and doing what I love again, it’s a lot of fun.”

FUNNY CAR
JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK BLUEDEF PLATINUM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (has eight wins at the track): “Ron Capps won the championship last year, but I don’t quit because he won the championship. I won’t quit because I lost first round (at Pomona). I drive this PEAK BlueDEF Chevy because I love driving race cars and I will fix it. It will only make me stronger.”

ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 2 qualifier and winner at opener): “It’s one of many battles, the first race of the year. To get the job done is a big day. We’re going to have a lot more of those this year.”

PRO STOCK
ERICA ENDERS, ELITE MOTORSPORTS, MELLING PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 1 qualifier and winner in opener): “We opted not to go to Phoenix (for testing in early February) because with all the fuel cars there we would probably only make three runs per day. With seven cars and 45 crew guys, we kind of wanted to make our own cluster at Bakersfield. We were able to do really well. We knew when we got our butts whipped here last year at the world finals that we had to go to work, and the guys did just that.”

GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 4 qualifier and semifinalist at opener; seeking to become fifth driver with 100 wins): “We did OK, but that’s not good enough. We have to go back to work. It’s obvious that some of the other teams have gained on us. We can run as fast as anybody right now, but we can’t run faster. We want to outrun everybody, like we did last year, so we have to get back to work and figure out how to find more power. The HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro is fast, and that’s great. But we need it to be faster. That’s what we’re going to work on.”

DALLAS GLENN, KB RACING, RAD TORQUE SYSTEMS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (semifinalist in opener): “It was nice to get behind the RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet Camaro last weekend. I wish we would’ve come back with the win the first race out, but I have to stay realistic with this new, to me, car. We’re getting the kinks out of it one lap at a time, and I think we will have a successful weekend in Phoenix.”

KYLE KORETSKY, KB RACING, LUCAS OIL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 3 qualifier in opener): “It was definitely a good start to the season. We’ll go to Phoenix and be ready to take it to the winner’s circle. (Testing two weeks ago at facility) The track is definitely not all there. We’ll continue to work on it, and I think we have enough data from the test session to really come out swinging. I was pleased with how we started out. We qualified out good and every round we got better.”

MATT HARTFORD, HARTFORD RACING, TOTAL SEAL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “(Arizona) is our hometown race and we’ll have a lot of friends and family and a lot of the employees come down, so it’s really important that we get to have a race in our hometown. We want to win everywhere, but we really want to win at home. We’re going to try to do better tomorrow than we did today, and we’re going to focus on exceeding our own expectations.”

TROY COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “Phoenix will be the perfect place to get past (early exit at Pomona because of a loose nut in right rear shock) and turn in a big result. It’s a long season and there will always be races that don’t live up to your expectations. How we react is key. I fully expect us to be back in contention this weekend. We’ll take nothing for granted and do all the work we need to do each round to put ourselves in the best position possible come race day.”

CAMRIE CARUSO, CAMRIE CARUSO RACING, POWERBUILT TOOLS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified seventh in Pro Stock debut at Pomona): “I think when you look at the whole weekend, this Powerbuilt Tools team did really well. We made some big strides, and we just have to take the positive from this race to Phoenix and beyond. Our biggest takeaway headed to Phoenix is we want to keep making good runs and just get that first win light in Arizona. We tested in Phoenix, but I think the national event will have a different feel. I am looking forward to getting back out there.”

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, available in 79 countries with more than 3.2 million cars and trucks sold in 2020. Chevrolet models include electric and fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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