Atlanta: Doug Herbert race summary

Herbert runner-up at Atlanta; seventh in points. COMMERCE, Ga., May 5, 2002 - Doug Herbert and his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel team enjoyed their finest Sunday this season in the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at Atlanta ...

Herbert runner-up at Atlanta; seventh in points.

COMMERCE, Ga., May 5, 2002 - Doug Herbert and his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel team enjoyed their finest Sunday this season in the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Herbert, winner of one round of competition in the first six events, won three rounds and finished second to Larry Dixon. It was his best showing since last July when he won the NHRA 50th Anniversary title at Pomona, Calif. It was Herbert's 13th career title round. He has six victories.

"This was a very good weekend," he said. "We had our heads hung low after last weekend (a first-round loss at Bristol, Tenn.) but we ran well in qualifying and we ran well in the first round of eliminations. The track kept changing all day."

Herbert equaled his season best elapsed time with a 4.622-second clocking in a first-round victory over Andrew Cowin. He qualified sixth at 4.629 with his fastest run of the year, 323.74 mph.

In the championship showdown, Herbert left the starting line first (.456-.482). It was close until past halftrack when the Snap-on dragster's tires lost traction and Dixon drove past, winning with a 4.637 at 318.09 mph to 5.039 at 231.87.

"They are at the top of the heap right now," Herbert added, speaking of Dixon and crew chief Dick LaHaie. "If we'd beaten them it would've been a heck of a performance on our part." Dixon now has five wins in the first seven NHRA Powerade Series races.

Herbert eliminated Cory McClenathan in the quarterfinals (4.710-4.974) and surprising No. 15 qualifier Don Sosenka in the semifinals.

"I'm pleased and I'm sure Snap-on is pleased with our performance here," he commented. "We're going to turn things around and get this car in the winner's circle soon. That's what our plan is. We are going to stay here Monday and do some testing."

Herbert was able to climb into seventh place with 309 points and he's 40 points behind No. 6 David Grubnic's 349.

A busy schedule looms with successive races at Englishtown, N.J., May 17-19; Topeka, Kan., May 24-26; and Joliet, Ill., May 31-June 2.

Qualified: No. 6, 4.629 seconds at 323.74 mph

First round: Herbert, 4.622 at 318.62 def. Andrew Cowin; Quarterfinals: Herbert, 4.710 at 302.89 def. Cory McClenathan; Semifinals: Herbert, 5.021 at 282.84 def. Don Sosenka; Finals Pro Winners: Larry Dixon, Top Fuel; Whit Bazemore, Funny Car; Allen Johnson, Pro Stock

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Whit Bazemore , Andrew Cowin , David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Dick LaHaie