HIGHT EXPERIENCES DODGERS SPRING TRAINING AND HOSTS DODGERS AT CARQUEST NATIONALS
HIGHT, FORCE ENJOY AFTERNOON WITH LA DODGER JUSTIN TURNER
PHOENIX, AZ (February 20, 2015) --- It is no secret that 2009 NHRA Funny Car champion Robert Hight is a big baseball fan particularly the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2008 Hight raced a Dodgers themed Funny Car, but yesterday the former prep third baseman and catcher got the chance to show off his baseball skills with Justin Turner, the versatile Dodgers infielder and avid NHRA fan.
Hight along with 16-time Funny Car champion John Force met Turner at the Dodgers Spring Training facility in Glendale. The trio toured the facility chatting with the equipment crew for the Dodgers and checking out the weight room. Turner then took the pair of NHRA drivers outside for batting practice and then on to the practice field to field grounders and toss the baseball around, all the while talking racing and baseball.
“This was a great afternoon. I know I am going to be sore tomorrow,” said Hight, after a nearly 45 minutes of taking crisp grounders from Turner. “I met Justin at the Auto Club Finals in November and we have been trying to coordinate our schedules to get together. It worked out great today to have John here as well. They are getting ready for their season and ours just started to we were talking about getting a fresh start and what we did in the off-season.”
The last time Hight took swings was about five years ago when he and his Auto Club team went to a batting cage for fun. Yesterday it took the 34-time Funny Car winner about two swings to get into the groove as Turner pitched in the batting cage. After Hight hit for about 30 minutes Force picked up a bat and took some cuts of his own wearing a Dodgers practice uniform, hat and his customary cowboy boots.
“I was pretty impressed with Robert’s technique. He has a great swing and he has some skills at third base. I love getting together with other pro athletes and just talking about how they work out or prepare. I had a great time out on the field with Robert and John. They are a lot of fun. My dad used to take me to the races when I was younger so getting to go back last November was a blast,” said Turner.
Qualifying for the 31st annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals starts today at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. with two more professional qualifying sessions tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park outside of Chandler, Ariz. Final eliminations will start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
The Dodgers will start their Spring Training games on March 4th versus the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Glendale.
HIGHT HOSTS LA DODGERS JUSTIN TURNER, JOC PEDERSON AT CARQUEST NATIONALS
CHANDLER, AZ --- The day after Robert Hight and John Force enjoyed an afternoon at the LA Dodgers Spring Training facility with Justin Turner the tables were turned as Turner and teammate Joc Pederson enjoyed the first day of qualifying at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. Turner enjoyed a renewed taste of NHRA action last November at the Auto Club Finals but today was Pederson’s first time at an NHRA national event and he enjoyed his “Baptism by Nitro.”
The pair of major leaguers watched qualifying and also spent time with the Automobile Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS team between the qualifying sessions. Turner even climbed into Hight’s Funny Car in the pits to get a feel for the 10,000 horsepower race car.
“I can’t believe how tight Robert gets strapped into that Funny Car. I see why you have to be strapped in like that when you see then go over 300 mph. It was great to show Joc this sport and he was amazed by the power,” said Turner.