Herbert qualifies during one round of qualifying at rainy Thunder Valley Nationals BRISTOL, Tenn. -- The rain kept coming but Doug Herbert and the Snap-on Tools dragster team drove to a qualifying spot during a small window of opportunity ...
Herbert qualifies during one round of qualifying at rainy Thunder Valley Nationals
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- The rain kept coming but Doug Herbert and the Snap-on Tools dragster team drove to a qualifying spot during a small window of opportunity Saturday at Bristol Dragway.
Persistent rain showers forced NHRA officials to set the field for Sunday's final eliminations with just one round of qualifying after both sessions on Friday and the second session on Saturday were canceled because of weather. Herbert's Snap-on dragster made a pass good enough for the 10th spot, going 4.904 seconds at 283.37 mph.
"It dropped a cylinder right at the starting line, but it managed to get down the track," Herbert said. "But I think we learned a lot from that run, enough to get after them tomorrow."
Herbert will face Larry Dixon in the first round -- the same first round opponent he had at this track last year. Herbert won the '04 meeting and is ready for a repeat.
"We need to just do what we did last year and come out ready to win four rounds," Herbert said. "I think we need to run a 4.50-pass to start the day. We should come out shooting for a real quick pass, otherwise what's the point? This team has worked so hard and we're ready to get back into the final round."
Herbert was especially disappointed the rain spoiled the second round of qualifying Saturday. Many of his employees from Herbert Performance Parts in Lincolnton, N.C. were on site to cheer on the boss at his home track. Several special Snap-on guests were at the track as well as several local Marines that have recently come home from active, overseas duty.
"I think it is a bummer for all of the fans that we were able to run just one qualifying pass," Herbert said. "These are some of the best fans on the NHRA tour and I was hoping we could put on part two of the session today. We have so many great people from the shop and the business and I am just hoping tomorrow we can make up for it and race four rounds.
"We won a lot of races here in the IHRA days and I think it's time to match it with an NHRA event."
All the action can be seen on ESPN2 starting tonight with qualifying footage at 7 p.m. (ET) tonight. Final eliminations will start at 7 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.