Las Vegas II: Doug Herbert preview

Herbert ready for big showing on The Strip LAS VEGAS (Oct. 18, 2005) -- Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts two NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events each season. The second event of the year is the fifth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals. It...

Herbert ready for big showing on The Strip

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 18, 2005) -- Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts two NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events each season. The second event of the year is the fifth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals. It starts Friday.

Doug Herbert is quick to say that the second time around has the making of being his best showing in Las Vegas ever. The Snap-on Tools team has earned four runner-up finishes and five semifinal appearances this season. The last time the team was in Vegas, Herbert qualified fifth and lost in the second round.

In the last four events, Herbert has qualified in the top three four times (including the No. 1 spot in Dallas) and has gone 10-4 in elimination rounds including final round appearances at the previous two races.

"The difference between the team now and then is night and day," Herbert said. "The way we have the car running just makes it real exciting to be at the race track. We earned the No. 1 qualifying award and a runner-up in Dallas. Now we want to continue where we left off two weeks ago.

"This team has all the tools and talent to win a race and we're getting better each weekend. I think the entire Snap-on Tools team is more confident now than we have ever been, and that's exciting because the confidence has come from a lot of hard work in the shop and at the race track. Wayne (Dupuy, crew chief) has done an amazing job."

Pro qualifying begins Friday with sessions at noon and 3 p.m., continuing at noon and 3 p.m. again on Saturday. The Budweiser Shootout will start at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and final eliminations will start at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The Budweiser Shootout is a bonus race for Top Fuel drivers. Based on qualifying over the previous 12 months, racers earn the right to race for a $100,000. Herbert will be one of eight drivers vying for a position on Thursday night at the Budweiser Shootout Draw Party. If his name is pulled from the lottery, he will race during Saturday's bonus event.

"Hopefully we will get to the draw party, use a little Vegas luck and win the lottery," Herbert said. "Then we can continue the weekend and start going rounds on Sunday. Las Vegas is a great city and I can't wait to get there and start going fast."

Dupuy has spent his time off in the shop, preparing for the final two NHRA events of the season as well as the offseason.

"Wayne has been working nonstop as usual and everything he does will just make the car better," Herbert said. "We're going to keep making progress in the last two races and hopefully build some positive momentum that will carry over into the offseason. A couple of wins at the last two events would go a long way toward making the winter a lot better.

"I'm excited about the next two races, but I'm also looking forward to working hard over the offseason so we can come out and battle for a series championship next season too. But first we have to go out to Las Vegas and see if we can't grab a big victory at the track."

All the action can be seen on ESPN2 starting with the qualifying show that will include Budweiser Shootout coverage at 10:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. NHRA 2Day will air at 11:30 a.m. (ET) on Sunday followed by the eliminations at 8 p.m. (ET) that evening.

-dhr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert