Bristol: Doug Herbert final report

Herbert Makes Impressive Showing for First Race of the Season Doug Herbert and his Top Fuel operation turned some heads this weekend while competing in the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn. The team, which ran the B.R.A.K.E.S.

Herbert Makes Impressive Showing for First Race of the Season

Doug Herbert and his Top Fuel operation turned some heads this weekend while competing in the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn. The team, which ran the B.R.A.K.E.S. dragster for the first time this season, qualified eighth and had a consistent car all weekend but fell in the first round to No. 9 qualifier Doug Kalitta, who went on to the final round of eliminations.

In an extremely close race, the DHL dragster and Herbert's B.R.A.K.E.S. machine recorded the exact same ET, 3.889. Kalitta, with a .049 reaction time, edged out Herbert and took the win with a margin of victory of only 15 inches.

"It was a good, close race," said Herbert, who has competed at Bristol Dragway since 1991. "It came down to the wire and I have to give it to Doug [Kalitta], he was on his game. I was happy to see him go on to the finals though; I have a lot of respect for Doug and Connie. It just wasn't in the cards for us to advance but, overall, we had a good weekend."

Herbert, who long considered Bristol to be his home track, has a storied past at the historic venue. He scored the first Top Fuel victory of his career at Thunder Valley and recorded six wins at the dragway in six straight years, dominating the Tennessee track throughout the 90s. The Charlotte-based driver was also the first Top Fueler to make 4-second and 300-mile-per-hour runs at Bristol.

"I love racing here," said Herbert. "The fans are great! I had a lot of them come up and tell me how glad they were to see me back out here racing and that was really neat. I really want to thank Jeff Byrd and all the folks at Bristol Dragway. They go out of their way to make sure everyone visiting the track has a positive experience, drivers and fans alike. There's something special about Bristol. There's just no other track like it."

This year, the ninth annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Herbert had two special guests on his car. Supermarket chain Food City, which serves over 2.5 million people in 94 stores located in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee, and zMAX, a brand of micro-lubricant owned by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman and CEO O. Bruton Smith, were both featured on the 8,000-horsepower dragster thanks to an agreement that was finalized the day before qualifying.

"When we got this worked out on Thursday we pulled together a crew of guys. Two of them had never worked on a Top Fuel car before and most of them had never worked together," added Herbert. "They did an awesome job, they didn't make any mistakes and the car was very consistent all weekend. Scott Gaddy has been with me for years and has been my Car Chief since 2006. We worked together to tune the car and he did a great job. I think we proved this weekend that we deserve to be back out here racing full time."

-credit: dhr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Doug Kalitta