Firebird test results please Herbert

PHOENIX, January 19, 2003 -- Doug Herbert and his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel crew left Firebird Raceway Sunday afternoon with a satisfield smile. They weren't the quickest or the fastest in the first three days of 2003 preseason testing, but they...

PHOENIX, January 19, 2003 -- Doug Herbert and his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel crew left Firebird Raceway Sunday afternoon with a satisfield smile.

They weren't the quickest or the fastest in the first three days of 2003 preseason testing, but they were making the progress Herbert, crew chief Ron Douglas and tuning consultant Jim Brissette sought when the new year unofficially began Friday.

"We had a pretty good day Sunday," said Herbert, "much better than Friday or Saturday. We still haven't made a run to the finish line, but the results Sunday were very promising. I shut off early on my first two runs and we ran 4.64 and 4.62 seconds at 292 and 301 mph. We didn't break any parts and the computer numbers indicated we were going to run a high 4.50 (seconds) each time. On our last run, we loaded it up, trying to run a low 4.50, but we smoked the tires."

With new cylinder heads and fuel system in place, Douglas started cautiously and Herbert made short bursts Friday. On Saturday, mechanical problems led to broken engine parts but, by Sunday, things were in order.

"We all thought the new combination would be the same as last year, but it took some massaging to get it going in the right direction," added Herbert, from Cherryville, N.C. "We plan to return to Firebird Monday and make at least three more runs to make sure we have the combination where we want it."

The Snap-on team plans to test at Tucson, Ariz., Friday through Sunday, in preparation for the NHRA season-opening Winternationals, Feb. 6-9, at Pomona, Calif.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert