BRISTOL, qualifying: With six career victories at Bristol Dragway during his storied Top Fuel career, Doug Herbert feels right at home whenever he races at the legendary Tennessee facility. Herbert's good luck continued on Saturday when he ...
BRISTOL, qualifying: With six career victories at Bristol Dragway during his storied Top Fuel career, Doug Herbert feels right at home whenever he races at the legendary Tennessee facility. Herbert's good luck continued on Saturday when he qualified for his 53rd consecutive race at the O'Reilly Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals. The driver of the Snap-on Tools/Doug Herbert Performance dragster qualified in the No. 14 position for Sunday's eliminations.
The weather was cool and mild at Bristol Dragway for the opening round of Top Fuel qualifying late Friday afternoon. The Snap-on Tools team were debuting a new Murf McKinney car that the crew put together during a two week break in the schedule following the last event in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, Herbert had problems getting the new dragster into reverse following his burn out and was forced to idle down the track and abort his first qualifying attempt. The 38-year-old North Carolina resident returned for the evening session and faired better, recording a 4.713 at 288.09 mph after lifting off the throttle before the finish line. Herbert finished the first day of qualifying in the No. 13 spot with two sessions scheduled for Saturday to improve on his performance.
Saturday featured another day of great weather at the Thunder Valley Nationals with mild temperatures and partly cloudy skies. The Snap-on Tools hospitality area was over flowing with enthusiastic Snap-on dealers, employees and customers, along with guests from Yokohama Tires. Herbert roared to low elapsed time of the third Top Fuel qualifying session with a 4.667 at 296.76 mph, moving up to No. 10 on the qualifying ladder.
After answering questions from the fans between rounds as part of the NHRA's Pit Talk program, Herbert made his final qualifying run. The Snap-on dragster recorded a 4.744 at 278.46 mph and 'Dougzilla' ended qualifying in the No. 14 position.
"We knew we took a risk coming here with a brand new car that had never made a run before," commented Herbert after qualifying. "Unfortunately we lost one run due to a little mechanical gremlin that we had, but we're getting things figured out. I think we have enough data now from the three runs we made in qualifying to have a pretty good race car for tomorrow's eliminations."