Sonoma: Doug Herbert final summary

Herbert turns in a final round finish in Sonoma SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2005) --It took crew chief Wayne Dupuy just four races to guide the Snap-on Tools Top Fuel entry driven by Doug Herbert into the final round. Not bad. The next mission? The...

Herbert turns in a final round finish in Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2005) --It took crew chief Wayne Dupuy just four races to guide the Snap-on Tools Top Fuel entry driven by Doug Herbert into the final round. Not bad. The next mission? The victory. Still, the Snap-on team was a happy group Sunday at the 18th annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway after making four runs on Sunday for the first time since February.

Herbert beat Ben Marshall, Morgan Lucas and Brandon Bernstein before posting a loss to Doug Kalitta in the final round. Herbert drove the Snap-on Tools dragster to a 4.603-second pass at 319.98 mph, falling to Kalitta's 4.665 at 319.90. It was the second time the two drivers raced each other in the final round at this race.

The last time was 2002 and the last time, Herbert came out on top. "The difference was the reaction time and I just think I lost my concentration for that race. I was looking down the track instead of at the lights," Herbert said. "It was the most important race of the day and I came up short. The guys have been great. They keep reminding me that I've done my fair share of winning races as a driver, but it's still a real disappointing feeling. "Normally when it is time to step up for a big moment, I dig deep and come through. It just didn't work out that way this time but that won't ever happen again." With the runner-up finish Herbert and the team moved up two places in the Top Fuel POWERade standings to seventh.

Dupuy was very pleased with the progress -- so far. The veteran tuner said he expects the team to have another chance at victory soon. "I really struggled with the car in Seattle and I'm glad that we ran some decent numbers this weekend," Dupuy said. "I'm still getting used to the team and the parts and making sure we all know what's going on. I know we have one good hot rod and I think we proved that we are on the right path to being a consistently competitive car this weekend. I think we are going to compete for every race win for the rest of the year."

Herbert beat Marshall in the first round, going 4.552 at 320.36 to Marshall's 6.874 at 111.98. In the second round, Herbert went 4.696 at 313.58 to Lucas' red-light start. Herbert posted a 4.702 at 306.26 to top Bernstein's 6.432 at 130.40 in the semifinal. "We are going to win races," Herbert said. "Dupuy is turning the car around and he is doing a great job working with (tuning consultant) Jim Brissette and the rest of the guys. We just need to hang in there as a team. We had a wonderful weekend and it won't be the last time we are going to be in the final round."

Herbert started the weekend qualifying in the top half of the field with a 4.562-second pass at 314.75 mph. "We just keep making positive improvements and I'm so proud of the way the guys keep working to make the car better and better," Herbert said. "We're going to go to Brainerd and kick some butt. I just know it."

The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing event is the 24th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, Aug. 11-14.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Doug Kalitta , Brandon Bernstein , Morgan Lucas