Brainerd: Doug Herbert pre-race notes

HERBERT IN RENO, SALT LAKE CITY--AND HOME IN NORTH CAROLINA TOO LINCOLNTON, N.C. (Aug. 3, 2005) -- Just when you think Doug Herbert and the Snap-on Tools dragster team have earned the weekend off, they're off and running again. The team is ...

HERBERT IN RENO, SALT LAKE CITY--AND HOME IN NORTH CAROLINA TOO

LINCOLNTON, N.C. (Aug. 3, 2005) -- Just when you think Doug Herbert and the Snap-on Tools dragster team have earned the weekend off, they're off and running again.

The team is fresh off a runner-up finish in Sonoma, Calif. where the Top Fuel entry turned in one of its most impressive and consistent performances of the season. Are they focused on the next race? Yes. Are they back in the shop working? Well--.

Crew chief Wayne Dupuy is back in Lincolnton working on some new parts. The rest of the team is doing what they have been doing for years, making an annual stop at Hot August Nights in Reno, Nev., before moving on to Salt Lake City for an exhibition run.

The team will have the Snap-on Tools car on display this week during the big hot rod festival before Herbert flies in on Thursday to fire up the car and meet the fans.

"We've been doing the display at Hot August Nights for eight years and I think it has become pretty popular with the guys," Herbert said. "It makes sense for me to do this event because Snap-on has a real big presence there. What makes it even better is the fact that a lot of the hot rodders are Doug Herbert Performance customers so it's nice to be able to interact with them and see what's going on with the cars.

"The racing season is so long and the crew guys don't get very much time off, even when we have a weekend off from racing. This week they are going to work on the car a little in Reno, but they also get to take it easy for a while and they get treated so well by everyone at the event and that's a great thing because as soon as they get back to the shop, we have Brainerd, Memphis and then the biggest race of the season, Indy."

Once Herbert and the team have celebrated hot rods through the years in Reno, they have to pack up quickly for a trip to Salt Lake City. Herbert has been making exhibition passes at Rocky Mountain Raceway longer than he has made an appearance in Reno. This weekend is no different, as the team will be racing under the lights for the annual Snap-on Tools Night of Nitro.

"The main reason we do this event every year is because the Snap-on guys in Utah don't have a big NHRA event," Herbert said. "So they blow this event up and make it a real big deal and talk about it all year long. It's a great event and we always put on a great show for the fans there."

The ever multi-tasking businessman, Herbert must also juggle working in the office with back-to-school mania.

"All three kids go back to school next week and it just makes me wonder where the summer went," Herbert said. "We took a little time off in the afternoon on Tuesday and took the kids to an amusement park to have a little fun and we're trying to make the last week fun but get ready for school at the same time.

"Every once in a while I wonder how all the work is going to get done, but it always works out in the end. I have a million things to do but I'm not sure if I would have it any other way."

With the memory of a runner-up finish and a consistent car on race day in his mind, Herbert is more focused than ever. He knows the team will be ready for the next race, even with a weekend full of activity.

"I've beaten myself up about losing on a holeshot and it's made me more focused than I have been in a long time," Herbert said. "I really believe that maybe I had to get a little angry to get some of the fire back. The crew guys have been the best support system possible. They have reminded me that we win and lose as a team together and they also know it won't be our last chance at a win this season. We're all so focused and mentally prepared for the next race that it's making us all more confident."

While the team is out on the road and Herbert is in the office, someone has to make sure the car is ready to go. Dupuy has that task and is making headway in a very quiet shop.

"Wayne is back in the shop working on new clutch disks and other things that you just can't get done during a race weekend," Herbert said. "Wayne is doing the things that all lead up to a win and I think he proved that last weekend. He's made a huge difference in a short amount of time and I'm constantly impressed.

"We're looking forward to the weekend but we're pretty anxious to get back to the track where we can race for points and trophies. We've moved up into seventh place in the standings and we're still looking up to see how high we can go. We want to be in the top five and we won't stop working until we get there."

The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 24th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, Aug. 11-14.

-dhr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert