Archive for Eric Medlen

NHRA: Kalitta’s legacy can be measured by 1,000

Posted in Column, NHRA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2009 by Martin Henderson

Has it been a year already?

It seems like yesterday that we were burying Scott Kalitta, acquiescing to the reality of auto racing. It’s a sport that is never completely safe, but shouldn’t be unnecessarily fatal. As followers of the sport, we agree to invest our feelings toward heroes that may not return to the trailer after the next round of competition.

Kalitta’s was the third NHRA professional fatality in five years when a series of events conspired to steal Connie Kalitta’s son from our presence. Top-fuel driver Darrell Russell (2004) and funny car driver Eric Medlen (2007) preceded Kalitta in death, tragically.

Kalitta’s was among the horrific crashes of the ages, a flaming fireball crashing into the end of the shutdown area at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., site of today’s United Association NHRA SuperNationals.

Doug Herbert likes to believe that “God takes over” in moments like those, grabbing the soul before any pain is felt. It’s a comforting thought, and I’m all for adopting it.

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NHRA: Hight looks like a championship force

Posted in Column, NHRA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2008 by Martin Henderson

Robert Hight looks like he should be wearing a brown shirt and shorts and delivering my  packages from HSN. Parcel delivery. Short. Solid. Fit. And maybe that’s appropriate because in Hight’s day job, he delivers the mail for John Force Racing.

He drives a Funny Car 330 mph. For the last couple of years, he has just missed winning an NHRA Powerade Drag Racing championship.

“He’s got everything that it takes, not just to win a championship, but to win 10,” said Force, who has won 14 and knows a little something about what it takes. “I see so much of him in me. Ashley (Force) is still learning the ropes, but Robert is ready right now.”

Though nitro racing may be a crew chief’s sport — and Jimmy Prock is no lightweight — Hight has all the tools to saddle the horsepower and ride the lead car in Force’s Pony Express.
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