Joliet II: Doug Herbert preview

It's Time for Doug Herbert to Begin Fulfilling His '04 Wish List Winning Rounds, CarQuest Nationals Are Goals at Route 66 Raceway JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 29, 2004 - With the conclusion of the 2004 NHRA POWERade drag racing season fast-approaching,...

It's Time for Doug Herbert to Begin Fulfilling His '04 Wish List Winning Rounds, CarQuest Nationals Are Goals at Route 66 Raceway

JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 29, 2004 - With the conclusion of the 2004 NHRA POWERade drag racing season fast-approaching, there are a few things Doug Herbert and his Snap-on Racing team would like to accomplish.

They are:

Winning one of the last four races; qualifying No. 1 at one or more of them; securing one of the top seven positions in the $100,000-to-win Budweiser Shootout in Las Vegas, Oct. 30; and winning rounds on race days.

None is wishful thinking. Herbert's on-track performances in the first 19 events indicate he has the capability to make one or all of them happen, beginning with the CarQuest Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, Oct. 1-3.

"We need a spark . . . something to get us going," said Herbert. "We need to go out and run good. We'd like to finish the season on a good note. It's important for us to do well in the Chicago area because it's close to Snap-on's headquarters in Kenosha, Wis.

"We also want to finish in the top seven for the Shootout, and that means we need to qualify well here and next week in Reading (Pa., site of the rain-delayed Lucas Oil Nationals, Oct. 8-10)."

Until this year, the Shootout was limited to the top eight drivers earning the most qualifying points during the season. Now the top seven make the field while eighth through 15th are involved in a drawing, with the winner getting the chance to win $100,000.

Herbert is seventh in Shootout points with 2,515, 45 ahead of Cory McClenathan, who cut 20 points off Herbert's margin last weekend at the Texas Motorplex. Herbert started eliminations ninth while McClenathan was fifth.

As for the No. 1 qualifying efforts, Herbert noted it was at Route 66 Raceway in 2002 where he collected his first NHRA pole position. He went on to pick up his second top spot at Las Vegas a few weeks later.

"We ran our career-best time (4.518 seconds) to get that first low qualifying position, and that was two years ago," Herbert said. "It would be nice to get something like that going again this year - and it would sure help us keep at least seventh place in the Shootout."

The Lincolnton, N.C., driver's quickest run remains 4.518 seconds.

"Maybe if the weather conditions are right, we could go that quickly again," Herbert commented. "But that was when we ran 90-percent nitro(methane), and now we're at 85 percent, so I don't know if that's possible. Maybe we'll find out."

Cold, clear weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday - ideal conditions for quick elapsed times and high speeds - just may provide the answer.

Qualifying times are 4 and 7 p.m. Friday and 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday. Sunday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

-dhr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert