Sonoma: Doug Herbert final summary

Doug Herbert's New Tune-up Shows Promise in Sonoma SONOMA, Calif., Aug. 1, 2004 - Doug Herbert's Snap-on Racing/DougZilla Visits the Wine Country Top Fuel team had to work around another new NHRA rule change during Sunday's Fram Autolite...

Doug Herbert's New Tune-up Shows Promise in Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif., Aug. 1, 2004 - Doug Herbert's Snap-on Racing/DougZilla Visits the Wine Country Top Fuel team had to work around another new NHRA rule change during Sunday's Fram Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway.

With the rear stabilizer wing now limited to no more than a two-degree angle, tuner Ed McCulloch had another thing to think about as he prepared the car for competition.

Herbert, who qualified ninth, began the day with a 4.697-second win over Cory McClenathan in the first round. In the next round, Herbert was leading Doug Kalitta one-quarter of the way through the quarter-mile run when his dragster's tires began hazing, enabling Kalitta to pull away for the win - 4.631 seconds at 321.88 mph to 4.819 at 282.13 mph.

Herbert was ahead of Kalitta at 330 feet but dropped back when his car began hazing the tires. Despite that, Herbert and McCulloch were pleased because the new tune-up showed promise.

The facts:

McCulloch has also had to tune using 85-percent nitromethane fuel and a new tire with a limit on how much air pressure is used. Herbert's 2.171-second half-track time against Kalitta was second-best of the round and could've been in the 4.5-second range had the car run the full 1320 feet . . . Maj. Phil Toretti of the United States Marines Corps was Herbert's special weekend guest. A 21-year veteran, Toretti is currently stationed at Norfolk, Va., and made the trip in Herbert's Lear Jet . . . Doug Kalitta went on to win the race.

Herbert quotes:

We are going in the right direction, but we need to win more rounds on Sunday. That way we can continue working on the tune-up . . . Overall, it was a good weekend. We did get a round win . . . Now the crew will go to Reno (Nev.) for the annual Hot August Nights celebration. We'll have the car on display. I'm flying in Thursday when Snap-on is giving away a new tool box. We have a match race in Salt Lake City Saturday night against Mark Strasburg.

***

Maj. Phil Toretti Joins Herbert's Snap-on/DougZilla Team at Sonoma

Wearing a uniform is nothing new for Maj. Philip Toretti of the United States Marine Corps, but he'd never before been clothed in one of Doug Herbert's Snap-on Racing/DougZilla shirts - until Friday.

Toretti, the honorary starter for the Fram Autolite Nationals, is a lifelong drag racing fan who is fulfilling a dream of being part of a drag racing team, thanks to Herbert. Toretti is Herbert's guest this weekend.

"I drove from Norfolk, Va., where I am currently stationed, to Doug's home in Lincolnton (N.C.) and flew here with him," said Toretti, a 23-year veteran. He joined Herbert and Snap-on dealers from the Sacramento area for dinner at Lake Tahoe Thursday.

"Doug and the Snap-on people have really taken me in and treated me like family," Toretti added. "I used to go to Maple Grove Raceway (in Reading, Pa.) when I was a kid because that was the closest track to where we lived. I used to cut grass so I could buy a ticket to the race..

"Being in a country where we are able to do things like this validates what I do for a living," he concluded.

Toretti, 41, recently returned from his third tour of duty in the Middle East. The United States Command sent the decorated officer to Djiboujti, Africa, as part of the Combined Joint Antiterrorism Task Force. He served as the Logistics Plans and Operations Officers in the Horn of Africa, a forward staging base for the Global War on Terrorism.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan