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SEATTLE -- The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series kicks off its three race western swing this weekend with a stop in Seattle, Washington. Currently second and fifth in the point standings, John Force Racing teammates Robert Hight and Ashley Force Hood talk about the importance of this West Coast trip.
ROBERT HIGHT – Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car
Q. WHAT IS IT LIKE RACING ON THE WEST COAST?
A. I’m a West Coast guy. I’m from California, actually in the Northwest, so I love the West Coast Swing. Before I was even a driver or a crew member I would go to those races as a fan. It’s just summertime and drag racing on the West Coast so I look forward to it. It’s very important for us to get a good start in Seattle because we’re getting close to the Countdown and we better get a game plan going before the Countdown so we’re on it.
Q. WHAT IS IT LIKE HAVING THOSE THREE RACES BACK-TO-BACK-TO-BACK SO FAR AWAY FROM YOUR HOME BASE?
A. I love it. Especially if you get going right in Seattle and you get on a roll. It carries over, that momentum to the next one and then on to Denver which is a lot of fun. As a crew member Denver is awesome because you have to change so many things. I still like the mechanical part of these cars too. What we have to do to make horsepower in Denver is awesome. These guys on my team work their butts off to get to Denver. It’s a fun one, it’s the same points as any other race but we’ve got to go out there and try to win it.
ASHLEY FORCE HOOD – Castrol GTX Ford Mustang Funny Car
Q. HOW HAS THIS SEASON BEEN FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM?
A. We’ve actually kind of struggled this season. Our car has been running really good we just haven’t had any luck. We just haven’t done as well as we were hoping to do at this point but we’re not letting it get to us. How the point structure is, you can struggle early in the year and still have a successful season. We’re trying to take it and learn from mistakes that we’ve made, and go forward and look forward to hopefully winning some races, doing well this summer and hopefully getting ready for the Countdown come Indy.
Q. YOU HEAD INTO SEATTLE THIS WEEKEND FOR THE WEST COAST SWING. HOW CRITICAL IS THIS STRETCH FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM?
A. We’re getting so close to the Countdown starting and these next handful of races are going to be similar in conditions, hot tracks. So if you get on a roll you’ll be good to go for a month straight and really get yourself prepared for Indy and Charlotte, those races that are most likely going to be in the heat of summer. Then most likely when fall hits, the season will change and it will get cooler. If you can run strong in the heat then you will probably do pretty good in the cooler conditions, because the heat is the real tricky part. The Western Swing they are all really good races, really fun races but they are important for your success.