Baytown: Doug Herbert Saturday summary

Herbert qualifies Snap-on Tools dragster in the top half of the field at the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston HOUSTON, qualifying: Doug Herbert, veteran pilot of the Snap-on Tools/Doug Herbert Performance Top Fuel dragster, produced his ...

Herbert qualifies Snap-on Tools dragster in the top half of the field at the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston

HOUSTON, qualifying: Doug Herbert, veteran pilot of the Snap-on Tools/Doug Herbert Performance Top Fuel dragster, produced his best qualifying effort of the season at the 19 annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals held at Houston Raceway Park this weekend. Herbert qualified in the top half of the 16-car field in the No. position. 3, following a run of a 4.537 at 310.77 mph during the second session Friday evening.

The Snap-on Tools dragster made a great run right out of the box during Friday's opening round of qualifying. Herbert roared to a 4.585 at 318.77 mph, qualifying solidly in the No 2 position and giving crew chief Wayne Dupuy a solid baseline tune-up to work with for Friday's evening session.

The combination of consistent cool temperatures and a track located at sea level makes Houston Raceway Park one of the quickest quarter-miles in the country. Herbert and the Snap-on Tools team went into the night session looking to try and grab the No. 1 qualifying spot. Herbert made his quickest run of the young 2006 season with a strong 4.537 at 310.27 mph, missing the top spot by a mere four-thousandths of as second. The Snap-on crew was extremely encouraged by their first two qualifying runs, especially when you consider how the team struggle during qualifying at the recent Gatornationals. It gave Dupuy and the crew plenty of momentum heading into Saturday's final pair of professional qualifying session.

The weather on Saturday began with cloudy skies and relatively cool temperatures, along with plenty of the famous Houston humidity. Slowly the clouds began to burn away and by afternoon the sun began shining on the Houston Raceway Park quarter-mile. Herbert launch aggressively off the staring line of his third qualifying attempt but the Snap-on dragster slowed near the top end to a 4.734 at 287.53 mph. Herbert maintained the No, 2 spot on the 16-car ladder with one qualifying session remaining later Saturday afternoon.

Herbert slowed on his final qualifying attempt with a decent 4.602 at 302.75 mph, dropping to the No. 3 position for Sunday's eliminations. "Dougzilla' will square off against Top Fuel rookie Hillary Will for the first time in his career during the opening round of Sunday's eliminations.

After four solid rounds of qualifying, Herbert was extremely upbeat. "We're qualified in a great spot," said Herbert enthusiastically, "and I think we have a great chance on Sunday. I really feel like we can go out and win this race. The Snap-on Tools car went down the track all four times during qualifying and most of the other teams weren't able to do that. We made four respectable runs and I think Wayne and all the guys working on the car are doing a fine job and we have a car that can win the race tomorrow. After our struggles with qualifying in Gainesville, everything went smooth here in Houston and the shows with or qualifying effort here."

-dhm

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Hillary Will