Denver: Doug Herbert Saturday summary

Herbert qualifies for the Mile-High Nationals in Denver DENVER, CO, qualifying: Doug Herbert began the three-race NHRA Western Swing on a good note Saturday by qualifying the Snap-on Tools Top Fuel dragster for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at...

Herbert qualifies for the Mile-High Nationals in Denver

DENVER, CO, qualifying: Doug Herbert began the three-race NHRA Western Swing on a good note Saturday by qualifying the Snap-on Tools Top Fuel dragster for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. Herbert made four full runs during qualifying on Thunder Mountain and will enter Sunday's eliminations from the No. 11 qualifying spot.

The temperatures were extremely hot at Bandimere Speedway for the 27th running of the Mile-High Nationals. The crew chiefs had their work cut out for them as they dealt with the heat and the altitude. The first Top Fuel qualifying session was run Friday afternoon with the track temperature reaching over 130 degrees. Herbert made a conservative opening lap, recording a cylinder-dropping 5.035 at 291.07 mph to finish the first round qualified sixth. The track cooled off for Friday's night session and most of the fuel cars improved their performance. Herbert roared to a 4.739 at 305.29 mph and finished the first day of professional qualifying in the No. 11 position.

Saturday marked another hot day on Thunder Mountain with temperatures reaching the triple digit mark. The third Top Fuel qualifying session began late in the afternoon on the sun-scorched Bandimere quarter-mile, with the track temperature over 150 degrees. The Snap-on Tools dragster launched hard off the starting line but the motor erupted in flames at the top end. Despite the pyrotechnics, Herbert stilled recorded the second quickest run of the session with a 5.046 at 268.97 mph, remaining in the No. 11 position. Herbert made a good run on his last qualifying attempt considering the conditions. The 38-year-old North Carolinian laid down a 4.946 at 275.73 mph to finish qualifying in the No. 11 position.

"We made some of the best runs during each session," offered Herbert, "but we had problems during the Friday night session and that was when everyone else made their best runs. So our qualifying position isn't really indicative of how well the Snap-on car is running and we're really not in too bad of shape for race day. Everyone is pretty equal here in Denver because of the conditions so being top qualifier probably isn't going to help a lot. So tomorrow we'll see if we've got a little bit of luck and can go some rounds."

-dhr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert