Commerce: Doug Herbert preview

Herbert Looks for Success - and First Win - at Atlanta Dragway Northeast Georgia Track One of Closest to Herbert's Home COMMERCE, Ga., May 10, 2004 - Of the tracks comprising NHRA's POWERade Series, Bristol and Atlanta Dragways are the nearest...

Herbert Looks for Success - and First Win - at Atlanta Dragway
Northeast Georgia Track One of Closest to Herbert's Home

COMMERCE, Ga., May 10, 2004 - Of the tracks comprising NHRA's POWERade Series, Bristol and Atlanta Dragways are the nearest and dearest to Doug Herbert's heart.

Bristol and Commerce are almost equal distance from Herbert's Cherryville, N.C., address. Bristol, thanks to his previous success at the old drag strip there, remains the dearest. Atlanta Dragway, approximately 65 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta, may be the nearest, but Herbert's best finish there is runner-up in 2003.

Herbert and his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel team have an opportunity to improve that record at the Southern Nationals, May 14-16, at the Commerce race track that is located less than 10 minutes off I-85.

Despite getting off to a slower start than he preferred, Herbert likes the progress he sees in the tune-up of tuner Ed McCulloch and believes a race win is only four good runs away.

"We've made improvements and they show in our performance," said Herbert. "It's a good time to be doing that because we are getting into the busy part of the schedule where it's important to run competitively each week."

On tap following the Commerce visit are stops at Chicago (May 23) and Topeka, Kan. (May 30). And, after a week off, another three straight races unfold at Columbus, Ohio (June 13), Englishtown, N.J. (June 20) and St. Louis (June 27).

"That makes me tired just thinking about it because we have a match race at Englishtown on June 5, so we'll be racing a lot," added Herbert. "I think that should help us. We are close to figuring out the new combination we put in this year. It does take time . . . sometimes more than you want it to.

"We were on a very good run, probably our best of the year, at Bristol on Monday (May 3, following a one-day rain delay) when I shut it off early in the second round," Herbert continued. "I didn't realize we were on such a good run because (Tony) Schumacher was pulling away from me. The incremental numbers said we couldn't run in the low 4.50s, which would've been our best of the year. Now I guess we have our night qualifying combination ready for Friday at Commerce."

Schumacher, who went on to win his fourth race of the year, posted the weekend's quickest and fastest run (4.477 at 331.35 mph) against Herbert at Bristol.

Herbert stands eighth in Top Fuel points with 276. It's a top 10 that finds leader Schumacher (576) and runner-up Brandon Bernstein (495) breaking away from the rest of the pack after six of 23 events. Doug Kalitta is third with 394 and No. 10 David Baca has 274.

"There is a lot of racing to go before the season ends and it's too early to call anything," said Herbert. "Maybe it'll be our turn to get on a hot streak."

He'll be looking to start one when Southern Nationals qualifying begins Friday with sessions at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Two more sessions are set Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. Sunday.

-sor-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , David Baca , Brandon Bernstein