Sonoma: Doug Herbert Saturday summary

Herbert making progress, qualifies in Sonoma SONOMA, qualifying: Snap-on Tools Top Fuel driver Doug Herbert is continuing to make progress with his new tuning brain trust of Jim Brissette and John 'Bodie' Smith. The pair help provide the muscle...

Herbert making progress, qualifies in Sonoma

SONOMA, qualifying: Snap-on Tools Top Fuel driver Doug Herbert is continuing to make progress with his new tuning brain trust of Jim Brissette and John 'Bodie' Smith. The pair help provide the muscle for Herbert to qualify for Sunday's eliminations at the 19th annual FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals as they continued to refine the tune up on the Snap-on dragster.

After dealing with record heat in Denver and Seattle, the racers on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series tour were greeted with ideal conditions when they rolled into spectacular Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. The break from the heat was a welcomed change and the fans showed up in mass for both days of professional qualifying.

Herbert and the Snap-on Tools team began the weekend with a solid run right out of the trailer, recording the third quickest lap of the opening session with a 4.709 at 305.84 mph. Herbert remained consistent on his Friday evening pass, laying down a 4.695 at 298.73 mph to finish the first day of qualifying in the No. 12 spot.

Saturday began cloudy and cool but the sun broke through by the time the third qualifying session began at noon. Herbert, with one win and two career final round appearances at Infineon, shook the tires on his third qualifying attempt and dropped one position to 13th on the Top Fuel ladder. The Snap-on Tools team returned to the pits and prepared the car for the final qualifying session in front of a packed hospitality area. Herbert overpowered the track again in the final session, but he remained in the show in the No. 13 spot. 'Dougzilla' will race Rob Fuller in round one of Sunday's eliminations.

"It's been a big learning curve," stated Herbert after qualifying ended. "We're trying to figure out what to do with the cars tune up because right now we don't have any records to work with, so we are trying to build a new data base of information. We had a little bit of trouble today but we'll diagnose the problem and come out tomorrow and give them a race. The Snap-on Tools car will run as well as any car out here, we just need to get more run data and that will happen very soon."

-bw

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert