Herbert Fifth when Rain Postpones NHRA Winternationals to Feb. 27-29 POMONA, Calif., Feb. 24, 2004 - There isn't anything that can be done about Mother Nature's capricious ways, so Doug Herbert and his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel team will return to...
Herbert Fifth when Rain Postpones NHRA Winternationals to Feb. 27-29
POMONA, Calif., Feb. 24, 2004 - There isn't anything that can be done about Mother Nature's capricious ways, so Doug Herbert and his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel team will return to Pomona Raceway to complete NHRA's rain-delayed K&N Filters Winternationals, Feb. 27-29.
While Herbert returned to his Cherryville, N.C., home to tend to his performance parts business, the crew drove to Phoenix to take a few days off, planning to come back Thursday and get the car ready for Friday's 3 p.m. qualifying run.
"We plan to take up where we left off," said Herbert. "We are determined to start the year off with a good performance. Actually, we didn't have much work to do because we were prepared when we got here."
Crew chief Ron Douglas and tuner/team manager Ed McCulloch opted for time off because the first two NHRA POWERade Series events are compressed into back-to-back weekends, thanks to last week's weather that was more suited for Seattle than Southern California. The wet, cold conditions brought the one-week postponement. The Checkers Schuck's Kragen Nationals unfold one week later, March 5-7, at Phoenix.
"There wasn't much else the crew could've done in Pomona," said Douglas, "except sit here and look at the car for another three days. They worked hard through testing so they needed a few days off."
Herbert was very pleased with his lone quarter-mile pass of 4.620 seconds at 291.13 mph at Pomona. It put him fifth on the 16-car ladder and gave McCulloch a lot of important data to use in runs this weekend.
"That first run was nice, right down the track like we wanted, and I shut it off early," Herbert recounted. "It was going to be a lot better run. Actually we can use the three runs we'll have this weekend. From that standpoint it doesn't hurt us.
"The engine dropped a cylinder four seconds into the run and I shut it off. Ed said he got a lot of information and planned to stand on the tune-up for our next run. We just didn't know it was going to be a week later."
Tony Schumacher was the provisional No. 1 at 4.514 seconds, 326.32 mph effort, followed by Darrell Russell at 4.520, 321.73 mph.
The inclement weather scrubbed Friday's lone qualifying session and when rain continued on Saturday, NHRA officials rescheduled the race to this week. Herbert also had qualifying sessions Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. Eliminations get underway Sunday at 11 a.m.