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Humorous Automobile Countdown preview: Can Robert Hight beat the curse of No. 1 seed curse?

Though the highest seed within the final two NHRA Tenting World Drag Racing Sequence Humorous Automobile Countdown to the Championship battles has emerged because the world champion at season’s finish, in contrast to in Prime Gasoline, that’s removed from the norm in Humorous Automobile.

In actual fact, this yr’s high seed, Robert Hight, holds the file for the most important restoration in any class, going from tenth place to the championship in 2009. He’s additionally received it from first place 10 years later (2019) and from the second seed in 2017.

Maybe owing to the risky nature of the vehicles or the intense parity within the class over the past decade, the highest seed has received the championship simply 4 occasions over the earlier 13 Countdown playoffs, with the highest seed ending second six occasions, fifth twice, and sixth as soon as. [See chart]

Humorous Automobile Countdown preview: Can Robert Hight beat the curse of No. 1 seed curse?

The common beginning place for the eventual champion is 3.7 – excellent news maybe for this yr’s No. 3 seed Matt Hagan and No. 4 Bob Tasca III – and, surprisingly, the No. 2 seed has come from behind to win the title simply as soon as, when Hight did it in 2017 to disclaim Ron Capps a second straight championship. Capps, the reigning world champ who received final yr’s championship from the highest pace, is that this yr’s No. 2 seed behind Hight.

Humorous Automobile is the one class the place greater than twice a driver has come from exterior the highest 5 to win the title, and it’s occurred with Hagan doing it twice (from sixth in 2011 and seventh in 2014), becoming a member of Hight’s tenth place rally from 2009.

Observations and predictions from a few of this yr’s Countdown members:

Robert Hight (first place): “We’re going into the Countdown in that No. 1 spot. Now, the actual work begins, solely forward 20 factors with the standings resetting for the Countdown, we simply must take it one weekend at a time, one run at a time. I’ve stated it earlier than, it’s going to take one other two or three wins to get that championship, that’s what we’re in search of.”

Ron Capps (second place): “The most important factor is the momentum [from winning the NHRA U.S. Nationals] that we really feel like we have now now going into the Countdown, and that’s big as a result of we’ll Maple Grove [Raceway], and it will be quick.”

Matt Hagan (third place): “I feel we’re all chasing Robert [Hight] proper now. He is operating good. He’s received six races. They’ve a really constant automotive within the warmth and within the cool, however we’ve bought [crew chief] Dickie Venables, who is likely one of the finest on the market, and I would not commerce him for anyone. Proper now, we have simply bought to get into throwdown mode and a Countdown mode. We’ve bought to win two or three of these six [playoff] races to essentially run for a championship and win this factor. I do know we are able to try this.”

John Pressure (fifth place): “We’re fifth in factors, which suggests after the reset, solely 50 factors out of the lead. Issues can change rapidly, however we’re in it, we have now an opportunity, and that’s what we’re going after. Large thanks to all of the followers out right here. You’re who we do that for, you convey us motivation.”

J.R. Todd (sixth place): “The most important takeaway from [the U.S. Nationals] was how good our DHL Supra is operating. I’ve a whole lot of confidence going into the Countdown, and something can occur over these six races. We simply have to be on the high of our sport.”

Alexis DeJoria (seventh place): “We’re seventh within the standings, and I’m actually wanting ahead to utilizing the beginning of the Countdown as a tough reset for myself. Factors are reset, and to any extent further, that is the purpose of the season that actually counts, so I’m wanting ahead to beginning the playoffs with a clear slate.”

Cruz Pedregon (eighth place): “We all know we have now a championship-caliber automotive right here, and the staff’s upbeat. We’re simply going to determine it out and go to Studying ready. The nice half is that our second season begins now. All through my profession, I’ve at all times completed robust, and I consider we’re shaping as much as have that occur once more this yr. My dad taught me this; ‘Issues occur for a purpose.’ Generally you study extra from powerful weekends than ones when you find yourself on the high of your sport.”

12 months

Prime Seed (SEASON End)



Tim Wilkerson (2nd)

Cruz Pedregon (4th)


Tony Pedregon (fifth)

Robert Hight (tenth)


John Pressure (1st)

Pressure (1st)


Mike Neff (fifth)

Matt Hagan (sixth)


Capps (2nd)

Jack Beckman (third)


Hagan (2nd)

Pressure (4th)


Pressure (2nd)

Hagan (seventh)


Beckman (2nd)

Del Worsham (4th)


Ron Capps (1st)

Capps (1st)


Ron Capps (2nd)

Hight (2nd)


Courtney Pressure (sixth)

J.R. Todd (fifth)


Robert Hight (1st)

Hight (1st)


No Countdown



Ron Capps (1st)

Capps (1st)

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