COMMERCE, Ga., May 2, 2001 - As spring heads into summer, temperatures will be rising, the sun will shine and National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel crew chiefs will be searching for their hot weather combinations. Larry Frazier,...
COMMERCE, Ga., May 2, 2001 - As spring heads into summer, temperatures will be rising, the sun will shine and National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel crew chiefs will be searching for their hot weather combinations.
Larry Frazier, Doug Herbert's Snap-on Racing crew chief, is experimenting with various combinations, looking for the right one.
"We think we know what needs to be done and we have the crew to do it," said Herbert, "but we don't have a real handle on getting down slippery race tracks yet. We're going to be seeing a lot of them, too."
Atlanta Dragway, site of this weekend's Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals, is traditionally a slippery track, and upcoming Winston Series stops in Englishtown, N.J. (May 18-20), Topeka, Kan. (May 25-27), and Joliet, Ill. (June 1-3) will likely offer the same conditions.
"We made a lot of changes before going to Bristol (Tenn., site of last weekend's Thunder Valley Nationals) and we're definitely going in the right direction," Herbert added. "Our problem came in the middle of the track. That's what we need to work on at Atlanta."
Herbert, from Cherryville, N.C., expects many of his Doug Herbert Performance Parts employees will be attending this weekend race and he wants to put on a good show. He's eighth in points with 265.
He was the No. 5 qualifier at Bristol (4.639 seconds at 310.98 mph) and had three good runs. His other times were 4.646 and 4.753 seconds. The 4.753 came Saturday afternoon on a slick track and was fifth quickest of the session.
Herbert faced Tony Schumacher in the first round and Schumacher came from behind to take the win, 4.687 at 307.44 mph to 4.846 at 268.28.
"We were racing a tough car and we knew we had to run a 4.57 or 4.58 to beat him," said Herbert, who had a .480 reaction time to Schumacher's .504. "We could've tried running a 4.70, but that wasn't what we needed to do.
"We had a clutch problem Saturday and fixed it," Herbert added. "We put the combination back to where we started, but that wasn't what we needed. We'll keep after it. We aren't giving up."
This is the third consecutive NHRA event for the Snap-on team. The crew has the May 12-13 weekend off before embarking on another string of three consecutive races, beginning at Englishtown, N.J.