SONOMA, Calif., July 30, 2003 - The buzz in the Snap-on Racing Top Fuel pit area was the engine's promising showing Sunday at Seattle. This weekend, Doug Herbert and his crew believe the talk will be about the engine's good performances and that...
SONOMA, Calif., July 30, 2003 - The buzz in the Snap-on Racing Top Fuel pit area was the engine's promising showing Sunday at Seattle.
This weekend, Doug Herbert and his crew believe the talk will be about the engine's good performances and that it will have exceeded its promise.
It can't come any too soon for the Cherryville, N.C., driver. The Fram/AutoliteNationals at Infineon Raceway will provide the arena for Herbert's team. They want to provide the spark that ignites Herbert to victory.
He comes to Northern California as the defending race champion and is disappointed there haven't been any wins in the 23 races in between his last visit and now.
"We will be ready to go," says Herbert. "We'd like to repeat. Repeat, in fact, is our word of the week. I want us to think about what we did last year and do the same thing again Sunday afternoon. Motivation is at an all-time high."
Herbert was runner-up at Bristol, Tenn., in his only 2003 final round. He has seven career victories in 16 final rounds.
"We made major engine part changes early this month and tried them at Denver (July 20) and Seattle, but we really didn't see the results we wanted until our run in eliminations Sunday," Herbert commented. "There is definitely more power there now and we are all encouraged.
"The torque and power range changed," he continued, "and we have to make them work together to get the good results we're after. I think we have something that will work."
Herbert, crew chief Ron Douglas and tuning consultant Jim Brissette had problems figuring out a very tricky, bumpy and slippery Pacific Raceways track last weekend.
Herbert qualified 12th at 4.991 seconds at 289.20 mph and lost to David Grubnic in the first round, but the engine responded to the tune-up changes made. Even though the car's tires spun and smoked, there were positive signs there was more horsepower available than before.
"We'd had poor performances in the few races before Seattle and the motor wasn't responding like it used to," Herbert said. "Well, it responded Sunday and the track's left lane couldn't hold the power. So things are getting better. We're looking forward to seeing the results. It should be good."
Herbert is seventh in NHRA POWERade Series points with 650 points, four behind John Smith.
The Snap-on crew begins qualifying with runs at 3 and 6 p.m. Friday, followed by sessions at noon and 3 p.m. Saturday. Sunday's eliminations begin at noon.