Atlanta Doug Herbert Preview

COMMERCE, Ga., May 1, 2000 - Change has been good lately for Doug Herbert and his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel team. The goal now is to make the results great. After driving to his second consecutive semifinal and moving up in the NHRA ...

COMMERCE, Ga., May 1, 2000 - Change has been good lately for Doug Herbert and his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel team. The goal now is to make the results great.

After driving to his second consecutive semifinal and moving up in the NHRA Winston Series point standings, Herbert predicted more changes will be made before he the team arrive for the Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals, Friday through Sunday, at Atlanta Dragway.

"We are experimenting, trying to find the perfect combination we need," he said. "By the time we get to Atlanta Dragway we'll have changed the fuel system that was on the car. By doing so, we've eliminated about 30 pounds from the car.

"We're not bashful. Every time we've made a change lately, it's helped the car's performance."

Herbert, crew chief Larry Frazier and technology consultant Dave Settle modified the combination prior to last weekend's event at Dinwiddie, Va. The results found Herbert advancing to the semis again, only this time with minimal engine damage.

"We were running pretty good at Houston (April 16), but we had to change engines after the first two rounds," Herbert added. "We didn't seem to hurt the engine too badly last weekend and we learned a few things that should help us this weekend."

Herbert wouldn't mind improving his record at Atlanta Dragway. He's lost in the first round the past three seasons.

There's another record he'd like to alter, beginning this weekend. He's already raced against Larry Dixon four times this year, and lost all four. "It's unbelievable," he commented. "Sometimes you don't run the same guy four times in one season."

After qualifying ninth at Virginia, Herbert sent Don Lampus and No. 1 qualifier Joe Amato home early. The Snap-on dragster stopped the clocks with a 4.739-second time at 303.64 mph against Lampus.

In the Amato match, Herbert used a big advantage at the starting line to pull away. Amato, meanwhile, also experienced traction trouble. Herbert won with a 7.756 at 293.54 to 6.457 at 132.49.

Herbert found himself in a bit of a quandary before racing Dixon. "We had to put new tires on before the run," he said, "and new ones aren't quite as good as ones with one or two runs."

The outcome was decided when Herbert's tires smoked hard on the run. Dixon also experienced some tire smoke, but he was able to drive out of it and win with a 5.750 at 254.57 to Herbert's 8.879 at 108.94.

    "At least we got to the semifinals," added the Cherryville, N.C.-based 
Herbert.  "We need to keep winning rounds."

He moved up to seventh place with 297 points. Doug Kalitta is sixth with 350.

Herbert plans to have his Jim Bailey-driven Snap-on dragster run this race, too. Bailey, who is chasing the IHRA championship, qualified at Virginia but was unable to make his first-round run because the engine had no oil pressure.

"We still need Bailey's car to make some more runs," Herbert said. And four runs Sunday at Atlanta Dragway wouldn't be bad for Herbert, either.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Joe Amato , Doug Kalitta , Don Lampus