Herbert reaches the semifinals at the NHRA Winternationals POMONA, post-race: Doug Herbert advanced to the semifinals on Sunday at the 46th annual NHRA CARQUEST Winternationals, the season-opening event on the 23-race POWERade Drag Racing ...
Herbert reaches the semifinals at the NHRA Winternationals
POMONA, post-race: Doug Herbert advanced to the semifinals on Sunday at the 46th annual NHRA CARQUEST Winternationals, the season-opening event on the 23-race POWERade Drag Racing Series tour. The semifinal finish was a huge success for Herbert, who entered the event without the aid of any testing and was being led by crew chief, Wayne Dupuy, who is still recovering from a serious Thanksgiving automobile accident.
Herbert qualified for his 48th consecutive NHRA national event after piloting the Snap-on Tools/Racebricks/Doug Herbert Performance dragster to a 4.582 at 323.19 mph. The 38-year-old North Carolina resident entered Sunday's eliminations in the No. 14 qualifying position and faced NHRA newcomer J.R. Todd in the first round.
The weather was once again spectacular on Sunday in Pomona and a huge crowd was on hand to take in the action at the fabled California quarter-mile. Herbert was in the fourth pair during the first round and he blazed down the track uncontested to take the victory with a 4.648 at 310. 84 mph.
The racing surface was as hot and tricky as it had been all weekend when the Snap-on Tools dragster rolled to the starting line for Herbert's second round race. Herbert earned lane choice over his opponent, Larry Dixon, and crew chief Wayne Dupuy elected to put the Snap-on Tools dragster back in the right lane again. Both cars left the starting line together but Herbert began pulling away at half track and took the win with an impressive 4.561 at 320.74 mph to advance into the semifinals.
Herbert switched to the left lane for his final four match-up with David Baca. 'Dougzilla' left the starting line first with a .090 to .143 reaction time, but the 7,000 horsepower Snap-on Tools dragster began smoking the tires early in the run. Herbert pedaled the throttle several times in an effort to regain traction but the car failed to hook up and Baca drove by him for the win.
Herbert's disappointment in not winning the event was tempered by the team's hard work and his third place position in the championship point standings.
"We're disappointed because we feel like the Snap-on car had the potential to win the race," said Herbert.
"But all in all, without doing any testing and still being able to come in here and leave the event in third place, it's a testament to the great job the entire team has done. Wayne and Jim Brissette did a really good job given our situation. The runs we made here were the same we would have made in testing, so we're very pleased to have reached the semis and leave here tied for third in points. Its not a bad way to start the year and now we just have two spots to move up by the end of the year."