Topeka: Doug Herbert preview

HERBERT, SNAP-ON TOP FUEL TEAM WANT TO STOP FIRST-ROUND JINX AT SUMMER NATIONALS TOPEKA, Kan., May 21, 2003 - There will be no more Mr. Nice Guy for Doug Herbert at the O'Reilly Summer Nationals this weekend. No, there aren't any tantrums ...

HERBERT, SNAP-ON TOP FUEL TEAM WANT TO STOP FIRST-ROUND JINX AT SUMMER NATIONALS

TOPEKA, Kan., May 21, 2003 - There will be no more Mr. Nice Guy for Doug Herbert at the O'Reilly Summer Nationals this weekend.

No, there aren't any tantrums planned, but Herbert's usually pleasant disposition was knocked askew by his second straight first-round upset loss, this one at Englishtown, N.J., last weekend.

"We've run well enough to win at the last two races but got beat," said Herbert. "We learned our lesson. We must run as good as we can every time."

While Herbert's performances have been respectable, his opponents fired their best shots and hit the target.

So expect Herbert's Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster to be aggressive on Sunday, no matter where he qualifies.

The Cherryville, N.C., driver won at Heartland Park in 1999 and is looking for his first 2003 win. He was runner-up at Bristol, Tenn., last month.

"I can't wait to get to Topeka," Herbert said. "We need to get another win there. Believe it or not, we are continuing to get better as a team, but we have nothing to show for it. We need to stop tiptoeing around in the first round and go for the throat. The good part is we don't have long to think about it between races. We'll be back on the track Friday."

Herbert did stay fourth in points but only 30 points separate him from the five drivers behind him. Herbert has 438 points and is followed by Russell (426), Cory McClenathan (419), David Baca (407), Clay Millican (404), and John Smith (398).

"Yeah, instead of having a cushion, we're down to almost zero," he remarked. "The difference is less than two rounds of racing, so we can't afford another first-round loss or we could take quite a drop."

Herbert has finished seventh in three of the last four years. He's never placed higher than seventh in NHRA POWERade Series points.

"I believe we have the potential to be a top four car . . . now we have to prove it for the rest of the year," said Herbert. -30- Doug Herbert Facts:

Age: 35 Hometown: Cherryville, N.C. Career wins/finals: 7/16 2003 wins/finals: 0/1 (runner-up at Bristol, Tenn.) 2002 wins/finals: 1/3 (8/4/02, win at Sonoma, Calif.) Career best time: 4.518 seconds (9/27/02, Joliet, Ill.) Career best speed: 325.69 mph (9/28/02, Joliet, Ill.)

-sor-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Clay Millican , David Baca , Cory McClenathan